A home energy monitor provides feedback on electrical energy use. Devices may also display cost of energy used, and estimates of greenhouse gas emissions. Various studies have shown a reduction in home energy use of 4-15% through use of home energy display.
Electricity use may be measured with an inductive clamp placed around the electric main, via the electric meter (either through an optical port, or by sensing the meters actions), by communicating with a smart meter, or by direct connection to the electrical system. The display portion may be remote from the measurement, communicating with the sensor using a cable, network, power line communications, or using radio. Online displays are also available which allow the user to use an internet connected display to show near real-time consumption.
A means to reduce household energy consumption is to provide real-time feedback to homeowners so they can change their energy use.
In 2010, UK based Current Cost announced a partnership with Google PowerMeter, a former online tool that connected to Current Cost devices, enabling users to receive real-time energy information on their customised Google homepage, wherever they were. Real-time data on how much energy is being consumed in the home was sent directly to the Google PowerMeter. The free software tool then visualised the information for users to view on their own iGoogle homepage, a personal web portal which enabled individuals to create and access a wide range of customisable information, web feeds and Google Gadgets. Note Google Power Meter is now defunct.
A study using the PowerCost Monitor deployed in 500 Ontario homes by Hydro One showed an average 6.5% drop in total electricity use when compared with a similarly sized control group. Hydro One subsequently offered free power monitors to 30,000 customers based on the success of the pilot. According to World Economic Forum 2022 Google support some companies around the world in diferent segments like Squair.io that create smart solutions to optimize energy, water and time. Blue Line Innovations also indicates 100,000 units in the market today.
Another study carried out in the city of Sabadell (Spain) in 2009 using the Efergy e2 in 29 households during a six-month period came to 11.8% on a weekly comparison between the first and last weeks of the campaign. On a monthly basis, the savings were 14.3%. Expected annual CO2 savings for all households is estimated to be 4.1 tonnes; projected CO2 emissions savings for 2020 are 180.6 tonnes.
In January 2009 the government of the state of Queensland, Australia began offering wireless energy monitors as part of its ClimateSmart Home Service program. By August 2009, almost 100,000 homes had signed up for the service, by August 2010 that number had risen to 200,000 homes. By the end of the program more than 335,000 households across Queensland had received the service with the Elite energy monitoring device supplied by Efergy Technologies.
In mid-2013 the government of the state of Victoria, Australia enabled Zigbee-based In-Home Displays to be connected to Victorian Smart Meter. From September 2019, the Victorian households are eligible to avail rebates for home energy monitor installation under the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program.
We waste much of the electricity we use in our homes through continued reliance on energy-inefficient, out-of-date technologies. A 20-year-old refrigerator could use 1,700 kWh of electricity annually, compared to new Energy Star models of similar size using about 450 kWh. Updating our appliances, windows, doors, and other sustainable building aspects to more energy-efficient models is a straightforward solution to drastically reducing our home energy usage.
Most energy monitors offer real-time monitoring via an app or desktop system. These systems will help you identify power drains by devices left running while you’re at work. They can even alert you to abnormal energy usage, such as a refrigerator door left open.
Home energy monitors also retain historical data to help you better understand your everyday energy consumption and find actionable solutions to cut back.
Try this: next time you leave for work in the morning, take a quick look at your energy monitor. If you notice your current energy readings are higher than usual, this could be a sign that you’ve left a device (most likely, a light!) on. Switching it off before you leave will make sure it’s not costing you money while you’re out of the house.
From gradually replacing your bulbs with LEDs to switching your old dishwasher to a more energy efficient one when it finally gives up the ghost, there are lots of little changes you can make to save energy – and money.
Emporia aims to bring the best value in home energy monitors. The Emporia Vue provides what you need to monitor your home’s energy usage in real-time. It comes with a varying number of sensors – from two to sixteen so that you can monitor individual circuits. More connections allow you to see how specific appliances and electronics impact your energy bills. This product enables you to see how much energy you are using over time and at any given moment.
The Sense energy monitor comes equipped with appliance recognition and real-time monitoring to track individual device usage. Monthly reports will help you understand where your energy was spent compared to prior months.
The intelligent Neurio energy monitoring solution is a data-driven tool that provides granular detail to reduce energy costs and make predictions and plans for the future.
This solar-ready device connects to the home load panel. It monitors solar performance while helping plan for future storage needs. It offers real-time monitoring from a computer or smartphone, learns from trends, allows you to set a monthly budget, and receives alerts when you’re in danger of overrunning. Neurio provides customized energy-saving tips to help you reduce your home energy costs and consumption.
Eyedro offers two energy monitoring solutions, a wired and a wireless solution. Both monitors include two sensors to read power consumption and capture appliance start-up spikes. Their online energy tracker shows 24/7 usage history, real-time data, estimates your monthly electric bill, and alerts you to power failure.
The Smappee energy monitor is a simplified system that includes appliance detection and real-time monitoring, all from the mobile app. Choose from the traditional energy monitor or a solar energy monitor.
The CURB energy monitor connects to your home’s breaker box to help you identify power hogs in real-time and predict monthly energy costs. The monitor is solar-ready and compatible with other smart home devices to help you pinpoint energy drains and remotely power them down, right from the app.
The Ecoisme energy monitor comes solar-ready and is equipped with real-time tracking on the app. Ecoisme is compatible with smart home devices, allowing you to control power remotely when you’re not at home.
The app sends alerts when a device is left on, open, or is close to breaking down. It’ll even send you personalized recommendations for energy usage reduction and help you predict your bill.
Efergy offers various energy monitoring solutions, including real-time tracking from the app or desktop and solar-ready options. The system makes it easy to set energy consumption targets and track usage to avoid wasting energy. It’ll even set off an audible alarm to let you know you’ve exceeded your energy target.
EnergyCloud allows you to take control of your energy with their real-time electricity monitor. The device helps you eliminate unexpected high utility bills and shows you, down the appliance level, what is consuming the most electricity. The device is easy to set up by yourself in 30 minutes or less with no wiring or need for an electrician.
Whole-home energy monitors can potentially measure how much electricity your home uses down to the individual circuits and even single devices, thus allowing you to identify ways to save. With electricity rates rising nationwide and climate change driving conversations about consumption, efficiency, and how people get their energy, these monitors have appeal. Many households save an average of nearly 10% on their power bills in the year after installing a monitor, with more engaged people saving up to twice that.
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