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Introduction To Electricity Monitoring Systems

Let's face it.  Most of us live tied to an electricity grid.  And whether you use that electricity to watch TV, run your computer, or turn on your lights, well...it's still electricity.  And a lot of that electricity generation is still based on coal-fired plants.  So in order to reduce those emissions (and shave off some dollars on your electricity bills), a great option is to reduce your consumption.  But before you do that (and while you do that), it might be nice to know something about how much electricity you're actually using. 

 

If you're not interested in picking up electricity monitoring devices, take a look at the How to Gauge Your Electricity Consumption wiki which will help you understand your consumption based on your monthly bill.

 

Whole House Monitoring Systems

Wattson

  • Wattson is made by Diy Kyoto(diykyoto.com). It costs roughly 300 dollars. It works by having your electrical usage transferred to a main device(the Wattson) by a transmitter. It can store four weeks of energy. It can show energy usage in Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Stirlings and Yen. There are some definite positives and advantages to the Wattson. It is important for people to be aware of how much energy they are using. It is important for the environment, and also for the wallet. This device can show many different currencies and therefore be used all over the world. It is portable and not bulky. It is a great eco conscious device that does not need to be plugged in.
  • There are some potential drawbacks. At nearly 300 dollars, it could be expensive depending on your need. If you are buying the Wattson outside of England an electrician will be needed for installation. This adds the additional cost of an electrician. If you live in a bigger house or business than you may have to purchase more sensor clips. They cost about 20 dollars each.
  • There are some companies that compete with DiyKyoto. Electronic Educational Devices, Lufdesign, Blue Line Innovations, and P3 International all have similar type devices to the Wattson.
  • The Wattson is good device for people looking for a state of the art stylish looking electricity monitoring device. If you have the money to spend on it, go for it. Diy Kyoto has made a very nice setup that can wirelessly track you electricity usage.

 

Envi-CC128

  • Manufactured by UK company Current Cost. It is a whole house energy monitor that displays electricity usage in kWh,Watts,dollars, or cent. In addition to these figures it will show the time and current temperature. The device is programmable to that you can put your exact rate into the calculation.
  • Current transformers clamp around the wires in the electrical panel and read magnetic signatures, sending that information through a wireless transmitter to the device. Available from U.S retailers, such as Forward Energy Solutions for $129

 

 

envi.png

 

EM-2500

  • This little device is manufactured by Energy Monitoring.  It's a whole house energy monitor that can display the electricity used in either kWh or in dollars.  It retails for $215.

 

 BlueLine Innovations' PowerCost Monitor 

watch your wattage

  • This is another 2 - piece meter monitor that sends a wireless signal to the pictured base unit from your meter.  It has an electric eye that registers each disc spin of your electric meter (or increment from the digital version), translating it into wattage, kwh, and dollars per hour.  It's a good looking gadget, and you can't help but change your behavior as your current wattage climbs.  It turns the home's inhabitants into Prius drivers, making them aware of each efficient or inneficient appliance they turn on (or off!).  It's also affordable at $149,00 USD.

 

 

FlowerPod from Design Nord

  • From GreenUpgrader: "We have posted energy use monitoring devices in the past but none as playful and beautiful as this one. The FlowerPod from Design Nord is a visual aid for the user to track energy consumption within the home. The concept is that the device will grow like an actual plant would…starting as a sprout then continuing healthily if energy use is favorable. However, if your demand increases the life will seep from the FlowerPod until eventually it dies! Predetermined energy levels dictate favorable energy consumption or overuse but the goal is to make the flower blossom and to be aware of your energy choices in a fun way."

 

 

Device Monitoring Systems

Kill-a-Watt

  • Power consumption monitors are an easy and affordable way to keep track of overall and "vampire" power usage from household appliances. 

     

    One such device is the Kill-A-Watt line of products, produced by P3 International

     

    Connect household appliances to the Kill A Watt™, and it will measure their energy consumption. Large LCD display tracks consumption by the Killowatt-hour, same as your local utility.  It will also instantly monitor watts and amps used by the device.  This is helpful to get a quick consumption snapshot of the device.

     

    You can calculate your electrical expenses by the day, week, month, even an entire year. Also check the quality of your power by monitoring Voltage, Line Frequency, and Power Factor.

     

     

     

     

    Specifications:  
     
    Model: P4400
     
    Operating Voltage: 115 VAC
     
    Max Voltage: 125 VAC
     
    Max Current: 15 A
     
    Max Power: 1875 VA
     
    Weight: 5 oz.
     
    Dimensions: 5 1/8"H x 2 3/8 "W x 1 5/8 "D

     

    information from P3 International website.

     

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Green Options › Articles › Introduction To Electricity Monitoring Systems