Home Energy Monitors and Devices Reviewed


| Reading time 2 minutes

An energy device is a great step towards achieving some real home energy savings. My wife and I offered to split our savings with our kids and we’ve turned them into energy efficiency entrepreneurs!

If you are considering getting a home energy management device, please check out this video that our friends at EnergyCircle have developed: Best Devices Reviewed.

As they say, management begins with measurement. Electricity monitors provide home owners with hard data on where electricity goes, how efficiently it is used, and what the costs are. You will be surprised how your behaviour will change once you have accurate data.

There are two species of monitors on the market right now, whole house monitors and plug-specific monitors.

Whole-house Monitors

Several whole-house monitors on the market will pay for themselves in no time. The ones that are accurate, durable and install without a fuss are the BlueLine Powercost Monitor, and TED aka The Energy Detective, which can be extremely precise and can be paired with software so you can track usage over time.

eMonitor Energy Monitor Service

The Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor is the world’s first whole-house, circuit-by-circuit energy monitoring and management system.

Some whole-house monitors plug into mobile apps. Check out these web-enabled apps: Wattvision, Plotwatt and Wattsup.

We review several of them in our video below. You can get them all at, or at

1) TED 5000 ($199 - the ‘Industry Standard’ for several years) 2) BlueLine PowerCost Monitor ($99 + $139 for the WIFI connection) 3) Wattvision ($249 WIFI enabled.) 4) eMonitor (roughly $1000, and a little more complex, but granular ‘plug-level’ data

In each case, you will need an online service to track your usage. We suggest you use our friends at Plotwatt. (Setting up an account is easy, and their User Interface is informative and fun). Wattvision and eMonitor do have their own online interface as well.

Plug-Specific Monitors

Both the Kill-a-Watt EZ Electricity Monitor and Watts up Pro electricity monitor measure electricity use from individual plugs. Simply plug the appliance you are testing into the monitor, and watch the truth unfold.

Since electricity tariffs vary by region, customer and time, and optional time-of-use plans are becoming ubiquitous, most devices have relatively unsophisticated tariff-awareness. However, this is now changing. With Genability’s APIs, any internet enabled device can easily obtain current and historic residential tariff data for a large portion of the U.S. market, in turn making the device even more beneficial to the end user.

We’ve also ordered several energy management devices so we can geek out our homes and offices. We’ll report back once we’ve got them totally dialed.

Also in Industry

Data Center Energy Costs and Usage

By Robb Miller | Apr 22, 2011

Facebook users share over 25 billion pieces of content, and view 500 billion pages, every month. (One of Facebook’s clusters has over 2250 machines and 23,000 cores, compressing 80-90 TB of data every day). Similarly, Linkedin crunches...

Home Energy Devices and Applications

By Robb Miller | Apr 15, 2011

The ability to drill-down and see what energy we are using, and what it is costing us, will be very significant. And will definitely be one of the more powerful mobile apps, in terms of saving money....

Solar and Time of Use Tariffs

By Robb Miller | Apr 12, 2011

Every time I see solar-panels littered on rooftops, I think “Now there’s someone who is choosing to make a positive impact on the world around them.”

San Francisco passes Zero Fuel, Zero Emission transportation act

By Emile Baizel | Apr 1, 2011

In an effort to combat fuel prices and urban pollution, this morning San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee signed off on the Zero Fuel, Zero Emission (ZFZE) transportation act. Starting next year, the city will begin collecting canine...