Do You Know Where Your Electricity Is Being Used?
As energy costs rise, homeowner worry about monthly bills. A home energy monitoring system helps homeowners monitor and maintain an energy efficient home.
Home energy monitoring systems provide an easy way to control utility costs. However, due to a wide selection, homeowners face a difficult choice in determining the best option. At GreenHomes America, we help homeowners understand the various energy monitoring systems on the market and products help achieve the most savings.
Basic: Individual Appliance or Outlet Monitoring
Monitoring individual appliances in your home remains the easiest option. For example, Kill A Watt manufacturers several devices that measure the amount of electricity an individual appliance consumes. Additionally, these devices measure the cumulative amount of energy consumed by appliances plugged into the same power strip. Plus, these devices help homeowners determine electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month and even year. After using these devices, many homeowners are shocked! For example, homeowners learn the true costs of leaving certain appliances plugged in all day long like that 30 year old refrigerator in the garage.
Intermediate: Whole-House Power Monitors
The whole-house energy monitoring system takes a broader look at your home's energy use.
Typically, devices that monitor whole home energy use are called power monitors. Homeowners enter information about the devices they monitored. Additionally, homeowners enter information about your energy bills. The monitor provides analysis, such as the total electricity consumption in your home and the total cost.
Certain whole-house energy monitors plug into an outlet and combine your home energy consumption rate with info about your local utility costs, time of day, etc. Homeowners receive info insights about their energy usage. For example, homeowners learn if they use too much energy. Additionally, other products hook up to the electrical panel and display the costs of your current electricity usage. As a result, homeowners that switch off a light, see the cost go down.
Newer devices on the market rely on a wireless sensor next to the meter. Next, the devices feed information to a portable monitor inside your home. These devices allow homeowners to learn about the best times to switch devices, appliances and lights off for the most savings.
Advanced: Smart Homes
Smart homes offer big picture approach to home energy monitoring systems. Although these devices require a larger investment, they also save the most energy (and money). Advanced systems and smart home appliances work together and provide a comprehensive understanding of your energy usage. Plus, most of these systems facilitate automation of your home appliances and devices. As a result, homeowners monitor and control energy use remotely or from a central panel. For example, a smart energy monitoring system offer the ability to turn off/on your TV’s, stereo, lights, etc.
Smart devices provide homeowners with very exciting technologies and continually become easier to operate and less expensive. However, going to the maximum level with smart home appliances, metering and software is something to consider if you’re interested in serious energy efficiency.
The Final Decision
The best way to narrow down your options is to decide what level of monitoring you want to accomplish, how much you want to spend, and how much you want to save. Most likely, you'll fall into the affordable yet effective middle category of power monitors that hook up to your meter and let you know what you're spending.
A GreenHomes Advisor will be happy to discuss your needs at the time of the audit and make recommendations on which level is right for you.