Tracking your efforts to save energy with a home energy monitor

You’ve given yourself a pat on the back for instituting ways to save energy around your home; you’ve conducted that home energy audit and have now set your green home purring along to a more eco-friendly tune. But when it comes to just how much you’ve reduced your energy consumption you may be left in the dark. It may seem that sometimes these changes show up a bit ambiguously on your utility bills, and while your rates may have decreased deciphering from which adaptation you’ve implemented can be a bit tricky. Yet knowing which changes or swaps have made the greatest impact can not only be useful information but motivation to stay on the right track and even see how much more you can improve your stats.

By far the most accessible, and least expensive, way you can see the effect of your measures to save energy is with devices like a Kill-A-Watt, Wattson, or GreenSwitch. What all of these will do is plug directly into power outlets and you will in turn allow you to plug in the cords of various appliances in your home to them; these Smart Plugs will then gauge just how much energy each appliance uses.

A step up from these are power monitors that encompass your entire house. How these systems such as the Power2Save, Black & Decker Power Monitor, and the Home Joule work is that they tap into your overall electrical supply; such as the electrical panel or meter. You can then input specific information pertaining to your home, what appliances you have, and even rates of your own utility company to get various calculations. Finally, the mother of all home energy scanning devices are smart home appliances; you can look for ones such as the Smartlinc, Agilewaves, or HomeManageables. These will cost a pretty penny but at the same time they will give you the most thorough inspection and from there you have the greatest potential to slash your own utility bills. What is also appealing about these smart home systems is that you can input which appliances you are most interested in calculating and also turn them off and on via a remote. Some even allow you to set in specific hours of usage, and with continuing advancements in green technology there is already much in the works including one such device that not only tracks your energy consumption but lets you check your social media sites, gives news updates, and accesses other online web spaces.

Studies have shown that using any kind of energy monitoring system has been effective at keeping people on track in terms of their goals to save energy. There is something to be said for positive reinforcement; if you can see just how much you are saving from your efforts that is all the more reason to keep on thinking green.

Photo credit: Tristanf