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Smart meters are they DANGEROUS or just a step forward?

Obviously we have all heard about the roll out of Smart Meters? I think it would be a heavy rock your under if you hadn’t. So whats your thoughts on them? scared of rising bills or radio frequencies being marinated on your brain? Or are you accepting the change. In my opinion I would not be concerned and i’ll tell you why.

 

Smart meters do give off small radio frequencies to transmit the data to the receiver (energy retailer). Much like a mobile phone does. According to my research a average smart meter transmits for 1.4 seconds a day and it would amount over  an average persons life to be the equivalent of one 30 minute mobile phone call. Though I do agree that we should always try reduce our exposure to the microwaves. Though we should possibly choose our fights a little wiser. However I do know of several products that can be applied to your walls that will block nearly 100% of all “wave forms” entering your house. Give me a call if you would like to know more.

 

Smart meters may/most likely raise your bill and to lay it out simply it is because they are SMART. They catch every piece of energy you use. The old meters relies upon magnetism to calculate your kw usage. The more enegy you used to more magnetic field was placed on the rotor (spinning disc in the old meter) so the quicker it turned. Every turn had an applied value (possibly 1 kw) so each rotation was worth 1kw. But these old meters found it very hard to see or charge you for the “in rush” power. Whats “in rush power” you ask???

IN RUSH POWER: I’ll try put it simply. If you need to push a car from standing still. The first few steps will consume a lot of your energy quickly but then as the vehicle gains momentum you can nearly push it with one finger easily. Its the same with electricity i.e when your washing machine starts it has to move a full barrel of clothes and water from start over and over again.

Smart meters can pick up “in rush” power and i’m telling you it adds up!!! Not to mention smart meters don’t rely on moving parts so there is no parts that will slow down and cause the meter to run slower.

My next blog will be about how to make the smart meter your friend.

 

Thanks

 

KEith

 

Why halogen downlights could be costing you money $$$$ and putting you at risk

With my knowledge of electrical installations, I can tell you that Melbourne went through a crazy love affair with the recessed halogen downlight from the late 90’s to just recent. Personally I believe I would have installed thousands.

There is no denying that the aesthetics of a Halogen globe is very desirable and pleasant to be around, not to mention cheap to initally buy but the downfalls are becoming all to glaringly obvious.

Did you know:

  • Less than 10% of the energy on average used to power a halogen is converted into light the rest is simply heat
  • A 50watt halogen spot can reach temperatures of around 240 degrees celcius
  • A standard halogen downlight including transformer consume 60watts (50watt globe + 10watt for transformer)
    • So if you had 6 in one room that is 360watts
  • Many halogen downlights before circa 2005 where not installed with protective cans and can create the potential for a fire.
    • Take a look at this goverment site http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/fireinthehome/FireintheHomeManualsGuidelines/FESA_FireintheHome-Downlights_Electricians.pdf
  • Maintaing halogen downlights can be more costly than other alternatives as they have more parts (globe, lamp holder, housing, transformer)

So what can you do?

If you already have halogen downlights:

  • Ensure that they are safely installed with protective cans and away from the house structure and have a suitable clearance of wiring
  • Have an electrician  replace the globes with LED globes. Companies are now making retro fitting LED globes to suit original halogen downlights. LED globes consume between 4-10watts
  • Have an electrician replace the fittings with compact fluroescent downlights that only consume on average 9watts a fitting, with much less heat.

If you want brand new recessed lighting installed

  • Have LED downlights installed.
    • these can be expensive ranging from $50-150per complete fitting only
    • However the life of a LED is guaranteed in many cases for 5-10years
    • Only consume 4-10watts
    • Light can vary depending of quality of globe
    • Run alot cooler
  • Have recessed compact fluroescent downlights installed
    • These give a nice light in my opinion, though some people find the lights a little off putting
    • Are cheap to buy, at around $22 including a globe
    • Run cooler
    • HAve very little to go wrong, a solid long lasting fitting

A quick comparrison:

12volt halogen = 63watts each

12volt LED       = 4-10watts each

Compact fluroescent = 9watts each

So the savings and safety are there, now it’s up to you,

for a free safety appraisal or quote on anything discussed please feel free to contact K-POW ELECTRICAL

 

Keith Powell

 

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