Are Home Energy Monitors Good?

lightbulb and calculator

What makes electric bill high?

Ah, the age old question and the answer is, everyone, everything, all the time. If you really want to pinpoint the culprit(s) that are using the electricity, a home energy monitor can help. Home energy monitoring and savings is something more and more homeowners are interested today in order to save money. 

What is a home energy monitor? Back in the day, I had personalized home energy monitors. It would be my dad standing there to make sure I turned out the light before I left the room. Or my mom telling me to shut the door to refrigerator with stern advice “You’re letting the cold out.” 

Today, there is a more technical way home energy monitoring works, and it is less annoying than mom and dad harping. The systems used today even track your home’s energy consumption by appliance! Even better, you can have a home energy monitor system connected to your smartphone for Instant reports and updates on the energy your home is using. 

Why invest in a home energy monitor? To help you know what appliance (or person) is using the most energy in your home by providing useful data. That data will help you track how the energy is being used daily, weekly, even monthly. You’ll see where the behavior is the highest, then you can determine the practice that is causing the energy consumption. 

How can I monitor my energy usage?

You probably want to monitor the energy usage in your home so you can find where you can cut back or even totally remove, right?  Monitoring home energy consumption hasn’t always been easy until recent years. Now that we look back, we could have cut the trip short, but we’re there now, so let’s learn How to save with a home energy monitor! 

There are several types of eco-friendly and green solutions on the market today that can you learn where to conserve the energy and save your money. The home energy monitor systems have proven to be the best, but there are other options available too. It comes down to how much do you want to spend on this endeavor and how tech-savvy you are. Here are some to consider: 

  • Smart Meter: This is installed by the power company and you don’t have any say about whether it is installed or not. Some operate wireless others work through power line signal, showing the amount of electricity the entire house is using. 
  • Smart Outlets and Plugs: These are single-appliance control devices that monitor energy usage for the item plugged into it, but not all of these smart outlets track energy usage. The purpose of these is to control the device by set schedules. They plug into any outlet, any appliance runs on them, and you can program them, so the appliance turns off and on as needed to save energy. 
  • Smart Energy Apps:  Less expensive than a home energy monitoring system, but not reliable for accurate data.  

How accurate are energy monitors?

If a home energy monitor is measuring only apparent power, it won’t be as accurate at low levels of consumption. Whole home energy monitors do not work out the power consumption as well as the individual devices.  The whole home energy monitor covers all devices, even those that aren’t plugged in. So, alarm systems, central heat pump and controller, anything directly wired is counted into the reading.

Some suggest measuring your home’s overall consumption with certain devices turned on, and then measure your home’s overall consumption again with certain devices turned off. Many find that process to be a hassle more than it is helpful. it again with it switched off, which can be problematic.

What is using power in my house?

Every home has them – energy vampires. The comforts we enjoy today cost, including the air conditioning, phone charges, and the refrigerator. Those three things, and if you have an electric water heater are the third-largest uses of energy in this country. Here is a list of the main energy vampires in your home: 

  1. Cooling and heating: 47% energy
  2. Electric water heater: 14% energy
  3. Clothes Dryer and Washer: 13% energy
  4. Lights: 12% energy

From here, the list of things use minimal energy, but if you have more than one, like televisions and cable boxes, and computers (like my house has 2 computers, 2 televisions, each with a satellite box). 

  1. Refrigerator: 4% energy 
  2. Electric oven: 4% energy
  3. TV, cable box: 3% energy
  4. Dishwasher: 2% energy
  5. Computer: 1% energy

You can turn off some of the vampires, like the computers, modem, router, and printer. Turn off the cable or satellite boxes and gaming consoles. Some of these still suck up energy when they are off but plugged in, unplug as much as you can. Yes, you’ll need to deal with flashing or unset clocks, but you’ll be saving money.

turning down temp to keep energy cost low

What is the best home energy monitor?

Neurio and Sense are two of the leading brands in home energy monitors. The basics are the same, but they both have distinct characteristics you should consider when comparing the two products. 

  • Both are  circuit breaker installed attaching transformers to the power lines. 
  • Sense brand as the standard feature of recognizing appliances. So, the more you use it, the more it will learn your household. 
  • Neurio has an upgrade that almost matches this feature. 
  • Neurio has a unique feature where you control and monitor the distributed storage systems.
  • Neurio is more energy efficient with its combination of battery and solar power, giving you a 30% ROI. 

Which ever home energy monitor system you choose, you’re sure to save money each month on your energy bills. You’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. Get started today by calling 7 Smart Security at 501-860-6767!