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Power-Save 1200: Recapture Your Electricity Line Loss?

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My friend received a flyer in the mail the other day from Hawkins Electric Service, Inc. about a product that could save him “up to 25% on [his] electricity bill without changing [his] lifestyle.” Apparently, all American homes poorly handle inductive loads and thus lose much of it without even using it. Inductive load is required on anything that runs on a motor and those motors require an amount of non-working reactive power to create an electromagnetic field to operate. Your electric company delivers this reactive power to your home without much knowledge of how much you’ll need and then your motor-equipped appliances draws on what it needs to operate. The excess is sent back to your box and is lost as heat, this loss is called I2R loss or line loss. The idea is that you’re paying for this I2R/line loss when you could’ve installed the Power-Save 1200 (the product that can save you up to 25%) and have it capture this power for later use.

My friend and I are both skeptical about the $300 product because neither one of us really buys the fact that we lose that much electricity in the form of line loss (I would agree that some loss occurs, but 25% of my electricity disappears as heat? I’m not sure). In a pretty exhaustive search online, I couldn’t really find much information discussing the recapture of unused load (there was a lot of other information about recapturing energy, but nothing on electricity in the home).

Phantom power drain: One interesting thing I did find was that a study by the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and the Energy Analysis Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that in a study of ten California homes (yes, it’s a small data set, but what can you do), the total standby power used by each home ranged from 14W to 169W, the average being 67W. This corresponds to 5-26% of a home’s annual energy use. This power use is generally called phantom power drain and seems like an easier target for a savings of “up to 25%” than a $300 unit attached to your power box.

Lastly, somewhat related to this topic is the idea of energy saver systems for the induction motors themselves, because as they operate they lose a bit of the energy as heat depending on their efficiency. I discovered this extremely technical analysis on energy saver systems for induction motors that covers the marketing idea of making a particular induction motor driven item more efficient. Ultimately I believe the article is saying that they’re not worth it.

Anyone do any research on this idea of recapturing unused electrical load?

{ 179 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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179 Responses to “Power-Save 1200: Recapture Your Electricity Line Loss?”

  1. Ang says:

    Bottom line Energy Star was not informed about how the system works, so I taught them and now there is no site!

    good luck with your arguements now!

    I CAN’t break down the science small enough to spoon feed it to you nor do I have the time to teach you about Hysteresis Losses, Skin-Effect Losses, Porximity Effect Losses,Transformer Losses, Line Losses, Stator Losses, Core Losses, & Eddy-Current Losses.

    It works!

  2. Chip2 says:

    A few posters are saying that saving amps is not saving watts. Here is a video I just found demonstrating the savings.

    Check out my post from 2009 showing my “KILOWATT” savings from my monthly bills using the Powersave 1200. I’ve saved thousands of dollars in just 3 years.

    Again, trying to use a stop watch to time a few revolations of the meter to extrapolate an entire billing cycle or year is totally pointless.

    • Robert says:

      To say, “trying to use a stop watch… is totally pointless” tells me that you either have tried this and the test failed or you are unwilling to admit to your findings. I have done this test and it actually made the meter run faster. The meter I am talking about is the kilowatthour meter owned by the utility, not one plugged into the wall monitoring a motor with no load.

  3. Chip2 says:

    Here is a video showing both amps AND watts savings by improving the power factor.

    “Power Factor Correction Explanation”

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