Did you know that something like 100% of homeowners and almost as many renters receive an electric bill every month? I don’t think I was ever warned about it, but I absolutely get an electric bill every single month. The amount will vary and when I look closely, I can see details such as kWh, and a comparison to last month’s bill. It’s fantastic, but not exactly helpful. I mean, it does let me know how much will be deducted from my account on the due date and includes helpful information such as “never plug a space heater into a power strip or surge protector.” But what it doesn’t tell me is the true “why” behind my electric bill. What have I done in my home to cause my bill to go up $35 since last month?
It's not the utilities’ fault, they are reporting the information they have. The same can be said for the water bill. They see what I consume and charge me for it. The difference is that I know exactly what I can do to lower that bill. I can take shorter showers, turn the sink off when I’m brushing my teeth, or acknowledge that in the dead of winter, I don’t get much benefit from running my sprinkler system twice a week. However, when it comes to electricity, there are so many devices at play. The obvious starting point is my thermostat. I can move the needle (okay, it’s not a needle anymore, but it use to be!) down in the winter and up in the summer. And after I’ve done that, I can patiently wait for the bill to come in and see if I’ve won the electric utility lottery! But even if my bill drops a few dollars, was it the movement I made on the thermostat? Was it the fact that we were out of town for 3 days? Or perhaps the weather was a bit less impactful? It’s always a guessing game – until now.
Enter Apolloware. The Apolloware homepage opens with “Electricity with Radical Transparency.” And that is exactly the intent. Since having Apolloware installed, I can see exactly what the large loads in my home are doing. The HVAC cost me $1.27 yesterday and the 7-day average is $1.31. My estimated bill is currently at $143.82, and this is $36.32 higher than where I was last month. So how do I reduce my usage for a lower bill next month? Apolloware’s got me covered there too! Turns out my water heater is running…a lot! But of course, we have family staying with us for a couple of weeks, so I should also expect an increase in the water heater and most likely my water bill as well.
Regardless, I now have the information to understand what’s going on in my home. More importantly, I have the information to start acting on what’s going on with my energy consumption. I’ve been given control. I receive a weekly email with a status check on consumption for the week. In the app, I have a real-time view of what’s going on, with such detail that I can turn a random light on and see the increase in consumption. I can proactively take steps and monitor the impact to better anticipate my monthly bill. I love feeling empowered and Apolloware has given me that.
Apolloware is intended to provide the details you need to fully understand your utility bill. If there are changes to be made, you get to see the benefit or cost of those changes in the short term rather than assuming what happened when you get your bill. However, there’s another benefit to Apolloware that is just now being rolled out.
Apolloware has a lot of information, not just from the devices that are deployed, but from research and industry standards that the team has collected. And they’ve now deployed an alerting system, to let you know when something doesn’t seem right. For example, if you just looked at your weekly emails to see how you were doing, and your HVAC were suddenly running at a 75% higher cost, you’d notice. In fact, I suspect you might reach out and ask if that reading was accurate and if it was, maybe you start thinking it’s time to investigate replacing that HVAC. But what if it was running at a 10% higher cost? Would you notice, and even then, would you act? In my numbers above, my HVAC is running at about $8.96 a week. 10% more would put me at $9.86, so just under a $1 more. Even over the month, we are looking at $4-$5 jump. That’s not really a red flag, but if that increase was due to a specific event on a Thursday morning where my HVAC ran for 4 hours straight, well that would be concerning. So now Apolloware has set alerts in the system that will add a note to the bottom of your weekly email, letting you know about anomalies in your readings.
Currently there are alerts set up for three systems: HVAC, Well Pumps, and Water Heaters. In the future we anticipate more alerts coming online, but as of February 6th
, you will start to see these alerts listed at the bottom of your weekly emails. And for the Well Pump and Water Heaters you will receive an immediate email notification if they exceed the thresholds for those alerts. It’s important to note that while these alerts are stating that something is outside of expected bounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. I now have a household of 5 all getting up at the same time, so I won’t be surprised if I get a warning that my water heater has been running for an hour. I can explain why it’s occurring, and once things get back to normal, if it happens again, I can hopefully get out in front of any issues.
Apolloware has the capabilities to provide transparency in the electric utility space that hasn’t existed before, and in doing so, can now help be a resource for monitoring the health of your home along with defining your energy consumption. So, starting on February 6th
the alerts will be turned on in the system. If you have Apolloware, please be aware that you might get a notification and you should see it on your weekly emails starting on February 12th
. If you do not have Apolloware and would like to hear more about it or our Energy Saver Program, please reach out to myself and our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 866-226-3372.