Power Saver Max on Power Usage

Power Saver Max on Power Usage




Over a year ago, I blogged about this little power-saving device which promises to lower electricity usage in the household. I thought it would be wise to look at all the data points and review the performance of the device.

The data points I’ve collected include all the last 13 months that we’ve been using this Power Saver Max. In order to minimize extraneous factors (and margins of errors), I’ve taken note of the electrical appliances we used at home:

  • 2 x desktop computers, 1 laptop
  • 1 x 6.5cu. ft. ref
  • 1 x 42″ LCD TV, 1 x 32″ LCD TV x 1 x 29″ CRT TV
  • 2 x 1hp air conditioners, 3 x electric fans
  • 2 x aquariums with lights, filters and aerators
  • 2 x wifi routers, 1 x telefax
  • 1 x Apple TV, 1 x HDX1000 NMT

I didn’t count all the other smaller devices that I causally charge (other phones, laptops, cameras, printers, media players, etc). For the last 13 months, here’s a plot of the power usage that we’re billed by Meralco.

Note that off-peak usage starts at around June to September and peak months are usually April and May. The other months are isolated cases that involved abnormal power usages due to additional head count in the house (which changes the normal power usage patterns of appliances).

As expected, the Meralco Bill we get is directly proportional to the power usage consumed. However, there have been fluctuations in the charges since the amount per kHw also changes on a monthly basis — this could be due to forex, taxes and other variables but more significantly, due to power price hikes made by Meralco.


 

Based on all the data gathered since March 2009, the cheapest rate was for the month of October 2009 at Php8.97 and the highest is March 2010 at Php11.17. The average rate from all 13 months is Php9.58.

So I used these usage data and the 13-month average to extrapolate my electric bill had the rates were a fixed amount.

Here are some conclusions we can draw from the data above:

  • Last month’s power rate, Php11.17 for March 2010, is 16.6% higher than the last 13-month average of Php9.58.
  • Our 13-month average and median power consumption is 773kWhr. The Power Saver Max did not reduce our usage in the last 13 months of having it plugged on the wall. In fact, it has gone higher since our usage before that was around 723kWhr (that’s 50kWhr higher). If nothing else, I guess it helped by not making the power usage way higher (we also use fancy spotlights or pin-lights at home on top of CFLs).
  • There was only 1.5% increase in usage when comparing March 2009 and March 2010 consumption. If the trend continues, I’m looking at 920kWhr for April and 956kWhr for May 2010. Using March 2010 power rates, that’s Php10,300 and ~Php10,700 respectively — first time to cross the 10k mark if ever that happens.

So, the question remains — does the Power Saver Max really work? I think, somehow it did prevent us from consuming more power than we should have. I’m still a bit skeptic though so what I’ll do is plug it off starting June to September later this year and compare the monthly usage from last year and the year before.

Note: The effective power rate mentioned here is computed by dividing the electric bill by the power usage. The actual power rates by Meralco are lower but padded with taxes and other extra charges. The device we used is this one: Power Saver Max.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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41 Responses

  1. jv paz says:

    dumugo ata ang utak ko d2 sir abe. puro math.

    • JC Tora says:

      Kasi po that’s what electrical engineers do to commercial and industrial establishments..
      Unfortunately, these saving thing is not applicable in our house.

  2. Erin says:

    wouldnt it have been easier to just plot the actual kw usage?

    and it would be hard to contain the external factors since you review a lot of one-off devices with varying power pull. :D

  3. yuga says:

    @erin – the first graph is the actual usage.

  4. mindyQ says:

    did you place your device closest to your appliance that consumes the most electricity?

    have you added more appliances since you used the device?

    mine is placed one the outlet closest to where my refrigerator is plugged. i have to say that my power bill has stabilized to around P3000 per month for a household of 6 people.

  5. yuga says:

    @mindyQ – it’s plugged beside the outlet where the ref and the rice cooker is.

  6. unknown3gs says:

    it doesnt sound like its helping. waste of time and money for that device.

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  7. Adrian says:

    Maybe the device is working, but not powerful enough to handle the power consumption.

  8. jughead says:

    bumili ako nito sa ace hardware. pero di ko kasi napuna un pagbaba.di macompare kasi eksakto nun bumili kami nito.nagbawas kami ng ref. 2 kasi ref dati.sana totoo.

  9. Nicquee says:

    This is one very informative post given that I’ve been reading rants against the recent Meralco bills.

    Thank you for sharing and looking forward to the next post related to the Power Max Saver.

  10. Jad says:

    MAKE A POWER SAVING PLUG.

    Just plug one of these amazing devices into any socket in your house and save up to 35% on your electricity bill. It sounds too good to be true. Lets take one to bits so we can copy it and save lots of money.

    http://www.bigclive.com/power.htm

    To all the people reading this and who have visited the link above–what are your comments?

  11. Jhay says:

    I still think that the best way to save on electricity bills is to generate your own electricity via alternative energy sources. Not to power your entire household, at least at present, but some portions of it, like the lights or lighting.

    • JC Tora says:

      Mahirap mag generate on your own. hehe
      Solar? Pwede sana kung walang namamato ng bubong sa lugar nyo.
      Wind? Kung mahangin.
      Typical Generator? Mahal nang gas/diesel.
      Isa pa, maintenance… Na hindi mo na kelangan gawin kung naka kabit ka sa distributor nyo.

      Mahirap din po ung balak nyo na 2 diff power source. Kelangan po kasing i-synchronize ung snyo tska ung distributor:
      220v, 60hz, and same phase sequence
      Then if you really want to supply your own specific load/s, eh kelangang baguhin ung electrical plan ng bhay nyo, which is, i thnk, not practical. Ok lang kung isang ref, 1range, and alike. Our house are usually designed to have 1 power source only.

      So practically, bawas consumo nalang tayo..
      Thanks., :3

  12. simplynice93 says:

    I never believed on those cost-effective devices. It’s better to implement a power-reducing plans like using the electric fan after the aircon cools the room.

  13. Eason says:

    I think di rin accurate, kasi in terms of technology the new ones are more technology earth friendly. So if you change your appliances there will be a change of the daily usage of the electricity.

    But in my personal opinion, those power savers just decrease the voltage of the power outlets. Some say it destroys some appliances due to that it may cause iregular power distribution in your home.

    I agree that thpse power savers just make you head have a mindset to save power. ^_^

  14. Emer says:

    I always believed these products are scams. If they are able to save as much as they claim (20%-35%), these should have been evident on your 13 month demonstration. Try removing it now and see if you get a net increase if your think it prevented you from consuming more.

    But as with gas consumption, power savings is a bit tricky to establish because there are a lot of factors that can cause the results to vary. For example, higher temperatures can cause aircon to work harder, more food in the ref consumes more power, sometimes we stay a little bit later in the night, using up more power in the process, etc. The only way to definitively say you are saving is to apply a known constant load and compare results with and without the device. Our power consumption at home, just like our water consumption varies a lot over the months, and even year on year on the same month. The fact is our consumption is not at all constant day on day due to a lot of factors.

  15. Emer says:

    @Eason – I think the tendency is that a person with this gadget installed would not think of saving electricity. He’ll probably use aircon more often and longer because the gadget will help him out anyway. False sense of security, ika nga. They’ll end up with a higher electrical bill in the long run.

  16. In my honest opinion, this gadget is totally a rip-off. Dont buy these gadgets, its not worth it.

    Thanks for the review Sir Abe

  17. Franz says:

    Power Savers do not work on residential areas since MERALCO charges by KILOWATTS.

    Let me explain this further.

    In Electrical Engineering under POWER ENGINEERING, there are three kinds of POWER.

    1. Real Power or WATTS
    2. Reactive Power
    3. Apparent Power

    We can use this analogy for the 3 kinds of POWER.

    In a RIGHT TRIANGLE, the LEG parallel to the X axis is the REAL POWER or WATTS. The LEG perpendicular to the X axis is the REACTIVE POWER.

    Their HYPOTHENUS is the APPARENT POWER.

    What POWER SAVERS do is reduce the REACTIVE POWER so that the HYPOTHENUS is nearly equal to the the REAL POWER.

    MERALCO gives discounts to consumers having equal APPARENT POWER and REAL POWER or they call it POWER FACTOR.

    POWER FACTOR = REAL POWER / APPARENT POWER

    The nearer the POWER FACTOR to 1, the higher is your discount.

    Unfortunately, you are only eligible for DISCOUNTS if you consume massive amounts of electricity or in short, you must be FACTORY PLANT.

    These devices have no effect whatsoever in your electric bill since they only reduce REACTIVE POWER and not REAL POWER/WATTS.

    In short, these devices are scams!

  18. Rolly says:

    alm ko lng po isang power saver per 2k or 3k na bill mo..pag tumaas o mataas ang bill mo dapat mag dagdag ka pa ng power saver.

  19. Jo says:

    I’m not an expert but when i saw the drop in the digital watt meter when the device was plugged in, I think it works. basically, lower wattage means lower rates,right? but still this does not prove that it works as it is advertised. the problem with the TS here was that he does not have a base or control setup to exactly arrive at a solid conclusion. He had too many variables affecting his observations. Whatever he comes up with will always be subject to skepticism. So until someone makes a controlled experiment, this issue will never be answered.Anyways, here’s what i learned so far… but dont take my word for it:

    “Power Savers are synchronous condensers. Most motor loads in our house are inductive loads. The power factor of inductive loads of appliances like air conditioners, fans, mixers, refrigerators is lagging and synchronous condensers supply a reactive power factor that help nullify the effect and thereby reduce electricity consumption. However, these condensers won’t work with resistive loads of appliances like heaters, geysers, irons, bulbs etc.

    Basically the power saver works by stabilizing the voltage that the appliances use and thus saves between 10 and 20 percent energy costs (though some claim even as much as 40% reduction).”

  20. Jo says:

    here’s a good article for all of you:

    http://www.electronicsforu.com/electronicsforu/Articles/ad.asp?url=//EFYLinux/efyhome/cover/March2010/Power-Savers_Mar2010%281%29.pdf&title=Do+Power+Savers+Really+Save+Power?

    it says it works… but only to some particular conditions… heavy aircon users, these kinds of devices are recommended according to the article.

  21. Blaze says:

    I think you’re either too skeptic or you’re just doing it wrong. LOL

    Anyway, I’m not one to argue but lemme share some of what we’ve had so far..

    House description:
    3 floors
    5 toilets and bath

    Appliances/stuff that consumes the most electricity (I think):
    4 box type aircon *for all the rooms*
    1 split type aircon *for the 1st floor/sala etc*
    3 industrial fans
    1 2-door er.. ref, lol
    2 laptops
    1 desktop
    2 big LCD tellies for the master’s bedroom and the sala on the 3rd floor
    2 normal/CRT TVs for the other 2 rooms

    **other stuff such as the microwave, wifis/modems, aquarium, lights etc would be left out as they’re normally used but well.. basta lang, I want them left out. LOL

    ***Sorry, no charts or whatever kasi I’m not good with Excel or whatever, hehehe.

    Normal bill’s 9-12k. Depending on the season — and yes, it’s higher on the summers — hence, we try to not be here as much as possible on summers, LOL.

    For 4 months now we’ve been using this power-saving thingy.. and I guess it’s just working ok. It’s not too impressive but it’s not a disappointment, either.

    First month with the thing has kept our bill at 10k, coming from a 10k from the previous month, too. It’s fine. We gave it a chance. 2nd month, our bill went down to almost well.. less than 300-500Php. Quite pathetic, I tell you. But hey, it does seem to be doing its job, eh? So my parents thought it’s probably just not able to keep up with the house seeing that it’s all alone and we have the typical townhouse. So my mom went to Ace and was gonna purchase another one — when she saw it was on sale! 50% off, baby! Hell, yeah!

    So she got 2 more! She was planning on putting one per floor but the salesman gave her tips. Tips we thought sounded stupid at first.. but what the heck, right? We were already using a device that was ridiculously expensive so why not “follow” the proper usage, eh?

    Apparently, the man from Ace told my mom she was to plug it near the main switchboard (or whatever it’s called, lol). So that’s one. And because we had 2 new ones, she was advised to plug them in outlets where they would be alone and won’t be shared with other appliances. So an outlet with 2.. uhm.. outlets? haha, whatever, just 1 power saver should be plugged in it and no other appliances should be plugged in the same spot. Upon hearing these tips, my mom immediately rang and told my brother to transfer the thing to the kitchen where the main switch was hidden in one of the cupboards — insisted he did this asap!

    Long story short, she took the man’s advise and 2 months later.. we’re doing a good 7-7.5k/mo bill (for 2 months now), same appliance and electricity usage. No “don’t turn it on” nor “turn the damned thing off” etc. At least that’s what’s happening now. It may have something to do with the fact that it isn’t as hot as it was a month ago and that it’s started raining.. or it could really be the power-saving thingy. We even forgot we had them until my mother saw the bill and almost cried from happiness.. whatever it was, we’ll keep them plugged in for now. And I’ll probably remember to update you guys or let you know about our future bills.. but for now, I’m quite fine with the fact that we have them. Working or not.. we’ll find out soon with the upcoming bills. :D

    Good day everyone, smile and just be positive!

  22. Emer Camaya says:

    @Blaze – It’s good to be positive, it’s not bad to be cautious. Many of us have a grasp of the theory, so there are reasons for us to be skeptics.

    To prove a point, I’ll conduct an experiment at home and plug in those Baygon electric mosquito repellant. I’ll take a look at our monthly bill before and after and publish the results here. If it yields positive result, then we would all have to aggree that it works. Unless of course we give credence to theory, and we can try to rationalize the results.

  23. aj says:

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  24. Jake says:

    Any update on this? I just bought a unit 3 days ago, but after reading all the negative feedback.. i’m thinking twice if I should return it.

  25. bizzaro says:

    we cannot outright say its a scam..here’s why:

    the power saver works on the principle of power factor correction. that power triangle mentioned above is a correct representation of 3 kinds of power in a power system, however Franz failed to consider and site that as the power factor of any electrical system becomes unity of equal to 1 (which in the case of the power saver is its function, to make the power factor of our resedencial or commercial electrical system becomes unity) the current drawns by the circuit is reduced. when the current is reduced then the system losses of the circuit is reduced and the savings on your bill is directly proportional to this loss reduction. One thing that we should understand about this devices is that “they are not intended to alter or reduced the power being drawn by our loads or appliances, because in the first place it is impossible to do, but rather they are intended to reduce the system losses of our sestem”

  26. Jison says:

    Sir Yuga, it’s now October 2011… what happened to your test? you said you were going to unplug your powersaver from june to sept, and compare it with your last year’s consumption.

    im on the same boat as you are, trying to figure out if this thing really works.

    please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Jison

  27. florante Bautista says:

    Good afternoon, i saw the demo at handyman regarding powersaver. I have a customer and he wanted to use this at his resorts. The problem is do we need to unplug this gadget when the power is supplied by a generator set. This happen only when the electric power is no available or brown out.If it is ok, we can order from 56 pcs of powersaver.

    Florante Bautista
    Mobile number: 092091298936
    email add: [email protected]

  28. Jame Bong says:

    Tama!

    latest POWER SAVER (HAndyman) ngaun ay 2000-Watts capacity. kpag lumagpas ung appliances nyo don, magdagdag pa ng power saver. dpat sinasabi ng Sales Man 2 b4 tau bumili para maEducate nman tau.
    HINDI tlga magagaSave kpag LAGPAS sa wattage na kaya ng Power Saver ang Actual Load.

    Sana it helps”,)

  29. bryan says:

    i am working on a power industry company and power saver is not working except for industrial applications

  30. donski says:

    bakit ayaw pa pumasok si DTI or DOST sa issue na ito. binebenta ito sa lahat ng malls and DTI or DOST or PS should finally say something!!!

  31. concerned citizen says:

    I bought this power saver from Mega mall. We even bought two power savers for two different houses in different locations.
    After the first month of usage, our meralco bill came out with almost identical usage and amount from the previous month. Both these two houses where we installed the power savers had the same experience. There was no change in our bills. Our monthly bill was 1,900. With the device plugged in, a month later, it was still 1,900. Consumption was still the same.
    I believe that this is a total SCAM selling these devices to ordinary people like me in the malls.
    If these devices are only to work for big industries, then they should not sell us home owners these SCAM power savers.
    Now, I am looking for the receipt. I will go back to Megamall and hopefully be allowed to return the two items we bought. If not, then the PRESIDENT of the Philippines has to stop this huge power saver SCAM asap.

    • Ariel says:

      Read ‘The Great “Power Saver” Fraud’ by a chap named Rod Elliot at http://sound.westhost.com/lamps/power-savers.html

      The article asserts that ALL plug-in power savers of the type being marketed now in malls yield little or no savings in electricity – your consumption may actually go up since the device itself consumes power.

      There’s a lot of technical detail in the article, so if you’re not inclined to wade through the whole piece, skip over to the Conclusion. Some of the links provided at the end are also interesting.

  32. Lyvia Caldwell says:

    Power Saver V3 really works for me. My normal electricity bill range from 16,000 – 18,000 per month. I have swimming pool, jacussi, aircons and fans, centralized water heating system, my water is pressurized and another factor for high electricity bill is this dimmer switch which use a very cheap bulb but had to use 50-100watts (not that I like it, but this was already set up when we bought this home). Last week of July, I bought 3 pcs Power Saver V3 in Handyman and use it for 2 weeks before I had another Bill. Guess what??? for 2 weeks of using it, my bill lowers down to P13,600 instead of the normal range i used to. I went back to Handyman and get another 2 because they said that in my case, I can use up to 5pcs. I also found out that I should not remove it during brownouts which I did. I always pulled it off during brownout which I should not be doing. Well, will see next billing…

    • marlou says:

      if u dont mind mam, may i know if where do u put the power saver

    • marlou says:

      if u dont mind mam, may i know if where do u put exactly the power saver? should it be plugged in the outlet where u also plug in the appliance?

  33. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if
    all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  34. The best is to use appliances with higher power factor so you don’t have to correct it by adding power saving device.

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