It’s not surprising that you’re going to lose friends along the way. A lot of the electrical current is wasted in most residences, in effect flushing electrons down the toilet, according to Alex Stepanoff, owner of Siberian Air heating and air conditioning company. For about $1,000 he’ll install a Power Shaver box next to your PG&E meter that he said will increase electrical efficiency to 99.9 percent, paying itself off in one to three years, depending on your electricity usage.
“It helps reduce greenhouse gases and carbon footprint,” said Stepanoff. “It helps increase your equipment life. It works on basically anything in your house that draws energy. It increases the power factor so you are using all of the usable energy coming in, reducing your kilowatt usage and making all of your energy run much more efficient. The White House has it, the U.S. Corps of Engineers and U.S. Postal Service.”
Stepanoff, a Brentwood resident, has been working in heating and air for 16 years, the last nine as a licensed contractor. He’s installed seven Power Shavers so far, including in his own house. “The last two weeks of May my PG&E was $361,” he said. “The first two weeks of June it was $181. I saw almost a 50 percent reduction.”
Your mileage might vary, however. “Each house is different,” he said. “The average PG&E bill would see a savings. If your PG&E bill is $200 to 400 a month, the average payback will be between nine and 18 months. You’ve paid it off in your savings. After that you’re putting money into your pocket. If you have a $100 PG&E bill, you’re looking more at a 36-month payback. You will save a minimum of 10 percent. On the big commercial buildings that have $10,000 to $25,000 bills, the savings is 9 to 11 percent. For residential it’s more in the 20-percent range on average. It basically pushes your power factor to 99.94 percent. It’s the most efficient it can possibly be.”
There’s one caveat, however: HDTVs are power hogs. “They will actually draw more than you think,” said Stepanoff. “The only one the Power Shaver did not get a savings with was one guy, but they found out he installed five new HDTVs after it was installed.”
In addition to saving money with your current electrical situation, the Power Shaver can help reduce costs if you’re thinking of going solar. “If someone is considering putting solar in, they can put a Power Shaver in first, reduce their kilowatt consumption and put in a smaller solar system,” said Stepanoff. “If they are considering putting in a 30 kilowatt they could instead go with a 25 kilowatt solar system and save money that way.”
An added benefit is that it doubles as a surge suppressor for your house, reducing the chance of a power surge frying your laptop or HDTV. It takes about an hour and a half to install it. For more information, call 925-240-9352 or go online to www.siberianair.org.