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Choosing Home Electricity Monitor

Here's how to pick the energy monitor that suits your needs




home electricity monitor


Once you make the decision to monitor your energy use to help you reduce your consumption, your electricity bills and your carbon footprint, the next step is to determine which electricity monitor to buy because there are several different types covering a broad price range.

Outlet or appliance monitoring is usually the most inexpensive method of energy monitoring. The concept is simple. You measure the amount of energy an individual outlet uses. These electricity monitors are commonly referred to as Smart plugs or smart energy strips. It works by plugging it into an outlet and then plugging an appliance or your electrical equipment into the outlet. It will tell you how much electricity the item is using and in some cases it will also tell you how much it costs you to run the item. The benefit of these monitors is to help you recognize how much energy items consume and how much you can save by using them for shorter periods of time or finding more energy efficient models. It also helps you get into the habit of unplugging items because even though an item is not being used actively it will still draw a small amount of electricity if connected to the electrical supply.

Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor, Watts up? PRO Electricity Usage Monitor and Belkin are all examples of this technology.

Whole House monitors are more sophisticated. You can enter in specific information about your electricity rates and your home electrical equipment. These monitors will track usage 24/7 and calculate how much energy your home is consuming at any point in time as well as the cost of your energy consumption. Many of these monitors also offer weather monitoring and time of day information which is important if you are on a time of day electricity schedule where rates drop during certain periods. With a whole house monitor you can begin to shift your loads to time frames when your rates are lowest. Some whole house monitors to investigate include "Home Joule" , TED - The Energy Detective and Black & Decker Energy Saver Power Monitor and the "Owl". In most cases information is streamed to your computer so you can watch your usage information real time.

If you want total control over the use of your electrical appliances and equipment then you want SMART home technology. This is an advanced form of whole house monitoring that allows you to program and schedule use of all your electrical systems and appliances. In many cases it adds intelligence to all of your home electrical equipment including lighting, electronic devices, appliances, computers, sound equipment etc. so that they operate at peak efficiency and only when they are needed. It gives you complete control over how all electrical devices are utilized and for how long. SMART homes also generally have energy star or high efficiency appliances such as washers/dryers/ refrigerators and air conditioners.

Your budget and your degree of commitment to reducing your electricity consumption and lowering your carbon footprint will be the most important determining factors in which type of electricity montor you ultimately choose to purchase. You can be assured that regardless of the technology you choose you will be on your way to better understanding how much energy you are using, what is using the most electricity and what each device costs you to run. You will be in a much better position to make enlightened decisions about how to begin reducing your carbon footprint and electricity bills.


Now, to learn more about how you should go about to reduce electricity usage at home, check out the various articles below.

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