How much electricity does your home office use? I decided to check it out

I have been working from home for over 10 years and have never asked myself one question - how much does it cost me? So I decided with the help of one small device to verify how much I spend monthly and yearly to power my workplace.

My helper in these calculations was the MEW-01 electricity meter , which provided me with all the data for calculations.

First things first.

What do I need to fund in the office?

Surprisingly many things. There is a computer that usually works for several hours a day. There are at least two stations for charging phones. Several stands for charging watches. Air filter. A camera that requires regular charging. The router. A network drive that crunches its disk hour after hour for most of the day. Single studio lighting. Printer.

And probably a few other things that I attach almost unconsciously to contact every day at least once.

A home office can consume a lot of energy monthly, and thus - generate high costs. Let's find out if it's true.

How I measured, or how MEW-01 works.

Theoretically, I could arm each outlet with a suitable plug that measures energy consumption. However, considering the price of such plugs (about PLN 300), this is not a very profitable solution. Or otherwise - terribly unprofitable.

So the MEW-01 electricity monitor got to my electrical switchboard. So instead of 6-8 devices I have 1, many times cheaper.

How is it installed and configured?

And here are three big pros.

First of all - MEW-01 communicates with the world via WiFi. So there is no reason to worry about range restrictions and similar issues. The set has a sufficiently strong antenna, but if we have, for example, a metal switchboard, we can lead out an external antenna (not included).

Secondly - MEW-01 does not require any bridges, servers or other miracles. During configuration, we connect it to the home WiFi network and since then we have permanent access to it around the clock. Regardless of where in the world we are and how far away from home we went.

Thirdly - the installation of MEW-01 in a switching station is very easy. Simple enough that the electrician who installed this equipment at my place didn't take a penny for it. The monitor is simply mounted on the TH35 rail (it takes the place of two single-phase modules), and the appropriate cables are connected to the correct phases. Then the connection of the included current transformers (100 A) remains and the entire assembly process is completed.

MEW-01 can also monitor energy consumption in three-phase installations, but if someone has only one - they can also use this equipment.

After all these steps, you can close the switchboard and reach for the smartphone. Once again - you don't have to bury anything in the installation, you don't have to configure or buy any gates, you don't have to install any smart home system. Everything is ready for action.

Let's look at the application

Monitor configuration - like its installation - should not take more than a few minutes. It will probably even take us less time, unless, by the way, we get acquainted with what Supla can do additionally. But this is already material for another text .

What interests us is the information provided to us by MEW-01. We can view them in several ways.

On the main screen of the application we can see the current state of our meter, together with the total electricity consumption:

If we swipe right, we get access to much more detailed information. Here we see not only the total consumption since the meter was installed, but also the consumption in the current month, the cost in a given month and for the entire measurement period, as well as detailed parameters for each phase.

Consumption is refreshed in real time, so if someone wants to check if they accidentally left an oven turned on at home, it can be done.

However, we are most interested in the icon on the right for this small experiment - the one with a small graph. It is here that we can check what our historical power consumption looked like.

It does not matter if you want to review this consumption minute by minute, day by day or year to year - the graph can be adjusted almost freely. There are many, many more options.

The chart from the last 30 days, divided into days will be best suited to our needs:

Alternatively, a pie chart with the so-called ranking of the days of the week, i.e. the total consumption from Monday to Friday (with these data covering the entire measurement period):

As you can see by the way, the chart differentiates between electricity consumption for individual phases. So, if someone has an electrical system laid out with his head (unfortunately I don't have one), he can even more closely monitor what in his house consumes energy and e.g. what is currently turned on.

Of course, data can not only be viewed in the application, but also exported to a CSV file. Additionally, they are made available through the REST API, where they can be used in external applications.

How will we count?

MEW-01 has (via the website) the option of setting electricity prices. Unfortunately, there is one problem here - it does not include the two-tariff option that I use, although this option is to appear in the future. On the other hand - I am hopeless in using electrical equipment at the indicated times, so we will assume an average cost per 1 kWh of 50 gr.

To calculate how much it costs to power my home office, we'll just take the average of the days of the week from Monday to Friday for the last three weeks, as well as the average of weekends when I'm not working, and calculate the difference. At the same time, we reject the highest values ​​for individual days, because they usually mean the day of washing and drying , which could significantly distort the results - both ways.

The rest of the factors are rather constant throughout the week. Working at home, I don't wait for the cleaning weekend, I don't eat out, I cook at home, and so on. So my work week in terms of energy consumption is identical to the weekend - except for the office we want to calculate.

To easily catch me on a possible error, here are the data:

So only one day falls, i.e. one Sunday, during which someone seems to be furious with using the washer and dryer. And yes, it was probably me.

In total, I used 166.08 kWh for 14 working days, which gives an average of 11.86 kWh per day. During 5 weekend days (one Sunday off), my house consumed 48.19 kWh, or 9.64 kWh.

Difference? Rounding up 2.22 kWh per day, i.e. just over 1.11 PLN per day for running a business from home. I wouldn't even buy a one-way tram ticket if I had to commute to the office. I don't mention renting costs.

Even if we multiply this result by all working days of the year (I checked - there are apparently 251 of them in 2019), the final amount will still be funny - at PLN 279.

So I guess I did the right thing that for 10 years I didn't care about these costs. But now at least I am aware that my decision from a decade ago was right.

So I can - with the help of MEW-01 - trace what my house uses the remaining 10 kWh a day. I already have several suspects ...

* The material was created in cooperation with the Zamel brand.

How much electricity does your home office use? I decided to check it out


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