With Home Energy Monitoring Systems
We’ve mentioned home automation systems in previous blogs, such as “6 Innovative Ways to Make Your Home Smarter”, and “Home Automation Systems Save You Money”, for energy management. However, the big picture shows us that energy management is about so much more than just automating your thermostat, to meet your family’s comfort levels. In order to save considerable money on those pesky energy bills, it’s important to know how much energy your home is using, and when it’s using it. This knowledge is something that most home automation systems don’t currently provide.
Home energy monitoring systems, on the other hand, have a running meter that shows you in real time just how much energy you’re using. Armed with this information, most homeowners use a lot less power, than they otherwise would. In other words, simply knowing how much power they’re using, incentives them to consume less. The end result? Increased energy efficiency! And, energy-efficiency is a good thing for everybody, as it saves you money and helps to ensure a sustainable future.
Several home energy monitoring systems exist including those that allow you to monitor electronics plugged into a single outlet, such as the Digi XBee Smart Plug, and those that take a whole-house approach, such as the TED Pro Home (discussed below). The products mentioned below, which should be installed by a certified residential electrician, offer the right balance between energy reduction and cost – all while maximizing occupant comfort.
TED Pro System
TED is short for The Electricity Detective. The Pro Home System comes with two current transformers that clamp around existing power lines, an Energy Control Center, and interactive software. Data in real-time can be viewed on any computer or mobile device that supports iOS or Android. A hand-held display is also available for purchase. Actual usage and cost estimates are updated every 10 minutes. This system allows you to tweak your energy usage in order to save money.
Digi XBee Smart Plug
The Digi XBee Smart Plug is a wireless energy management device that lets you manage and control the energy use of electrical devices plugged in via a standard electrical outlet. A key benefit is more efficient energy usage, resulting in decreased energy bills. This device requires that a connection be made to a ZigBee network (sold separately). When connected to the network, you’re offered a whole energy management solution. Information includes electronic on/off status, operating range, and erratic behavior.