The following stumper is presented in BPI's August Performance Matters e-Newsletter.

For this month's stumper, Ham Niles of Evergreen Home Performance provided this story about the home of a retired anesthesiologist and his wife in Maine.

"The couple lived in a home less than 20 years old. They had a tight house, solar hot water, under-floor heat, efficient windows, modern electric appliances for laundry, dishes and cooking, and a backup generator with a block heater and battery charger for when the power goes out, which it does frequently in this town on the coast of Maine.

The homeowners complained that there was high electrical usage that seemed out of proportion with their habits - as though they had a hot tub or AC running all the time.

We evaluated the house top-to-bottom, and found plenty of load - thirteen 90 watt can lights; several pumps for the under-floor heat; various phantom loads associated with printers, Tivos and a security system; but nothing that added up to the 12000 kWh the client was annually seeing. I recalled a story my boss told me about how to use the IR camera – and that led to directly solving the problem. What was it?"

Hint: Infrared of back-up generator (top left) and infrared of circuit breaker (top right).

Tags: BPI., Challenge, Chump, Matters, Performance, Stump, the

Views: 161

Replies to This Discussion

Its the block heater. 

I agree with Lain.  The block heater is on continuously keeping the block at a nice 121 degrees.  The circuit breaker assumably shows the active circuit to the block heater when the generator is on stand by.


Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconDenise Cooper, Maren Cooke, Steven Antonini and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
Crosbey Archery joined Allison A. Bailes III's group


HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
Crosbey Archery commented on Ottawa Furnace Filters's blog post Some Useful Information about Furnace Air Filters
"This post is really helpful especially to those homeowners who are still confused on what to…"
Diane Chojnowski posted videos
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion

Incentives & financing options for home energy upgrades has a useful database of incentives and financing options for home energy efficiency…See More
George Kopf commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post My Fall Into The Smart Home, Lazy Life
"Matt, Another way of looking at this is that by freeing up my time/brain power, I can give more…"
Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post was featured

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service