Home Energy Monitors and Devices Reviewed
By Robb Miller
| 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!
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.
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.
The Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor is the world’s first whole-house, circuit-by-circuit energy monitoring and management system.
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.
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.
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