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Your Place: Possible Causes of Surges in Electricity Use

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By Alan J. Heavens

electrical_suge_power_strip(MCT)—I had a question awhile back from a reader who had a smart meter installed and checks online for usage.

The reader reported that usage was normal for one or two days, then surged for the next day or two. There is no pattern to the surges. She said it was almost like a timer was turning on.

I published some of your responses almost a month ago, but as “Your Place” gets published in newspapers throughout the country, more have come in since. So here goes:

Lee Edelberg in Leverett, Mass., says I was correct to ask about their heating and hot water, and adds a couple of thoughts.

He says a well-insulated electric water heater may not run much every day if its hot-water usage is low. It may stay hot enough for a day or so, then kick on to reheat the tank. Another possibility would be electric dryer usage. Maybe the reader does a lot of laundry, and didn’t consider the impact.

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