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Followup on AppleTV/Motorola DVR energy waste

I always appreciate feedback on my blog (see Aug 2 entry), especially to correct an error, as I work hard to stick to verifiable facts. One reader (Gene C) wrote me stating:

Just FYI, the cost of electrical power in Ca. is not $.35 per Kilowatt hour, it is $.035 per hour or three and a half cents per KWH. This is depending on the exact rates where you live, it could be slightly more or less but not thirty five cents, we'd all be broke. Thus you can divide your power cost estimate per year for your dvr by 10. Isn't that better

Yes, it’s much better—but one can only dream about such rates in California—I’d heat my house with electricity and put in a nice big air conditioner for those sweltering August days if rates were 3.5 cents per KWh. Gene C might be referring to those halcyon days in which the cost-of-generation expense was indeed that low, not that it stops California dreamin' politicians from trying to price electricity below cost and to the advantage of their political supporters.

I never argue about facts. Here are the rates from my personal electric bill from June 2007, exclusive of my town’s utility tax (6.5%), surcharges and fees:

Adding in my local 6.5% utility users tax, I’m actually paying $0.3880 per kilowatt hour at the top tier. So when the AppleTV and Comcast DVR suck up another 365 kilowatts per year, that usage will be in addition to my existing usage. Multiplying 365 X $0.3880 = $142. Or perhaps I’ll be well into the next tier at $0.arm/leg?


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