Home Energy Monitor
The Electricity Monitor
The Home Energy Monitor can help you to get the correct data about your electricity consumption. Before taking meaningful steps to reduce your home electricity consumption you must have the data. You need to have data about the total consumption along the different seasons and the electrical power consumption breakdown for the home appliances, lighting, space heating, water heating and space cooling. (the answer regarding heating might be trivial if you use other than electricity because you know the fuel cost).
There are few alternatives for monitoring the home electricity consumption.
- Outlet Monitor
- All-House (distributed) Monitoring
Outlet Electricity Monitor
An Outlet Electricity Monitor plugs into the corresponding electrical outlet on one side and the relevant load (appliance, device, TV, DVD, PC, etc.) plugs into the other side of the Outlet Monitor . The monitor measures how much electrical power the device that is connected to that outlet takes. (it acts like a Power Meter on the outlet it is plugged to)
Examples for commercially available monitors are Kill-a-Watt, GreenSwitch and the Watson, all carry an affordable price tag
All-House (distributed) Electricity Monitors
Magnetic sensors are clipped around the incoming electrical supply wires at the electrical panel (where the circuit breakers are located). The readings of actual power delivered by every wire clipped (each one relates to one particular load) are transmitted to a central display/data-logger. The data logger provides the user with capability to view the consumption on every wire (in other words - an appliance or a device). There are other data manipulations like seeing the consumption in terms of cost in $ (tied to time of day) or in terms of carbon consumed by the utility to produce this electricity.The bottom line, the owner can get a picture who are the energy hungry appliances and devices
After you know the data..
Different actions can be taken based on the monitored data:
- Replace a "electric hungry" appliance with a Energy Star labeled appliance
- Change the hours of operation of a certain appliance (like a washer) to the time of day when electricity is cheaper (usually over night)
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs or LED bulbs
Examples for commercially available monitors are cent-a-meter, Black&Decker Power Monitor. You may want to run a WEB search for "Electricity Monitor" or Home Energy Monitor to find an electricity monitor that best fit your needs and that you can afford to buy
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