I helped my father install this PowerCost Monitor from Blue Line Innovations. He has spent the last few weeks walking around the house with the monitor whenever it reads above 3 or 4 kWatts to track down the culprit. What just turned on? Why did it turn on? Should it be shut off? How long does it remain on?
This is why the manufacturer claims that their customers can get 20% savings just by understanding, monitoring, and taking action on the information they get.
It really works! I’m recommending that all the USA Solar Stores carry whole house monitors since it is a great first step for people who are asking about how to save money on their electric bill.
This PowerCost Monitor is easy to install for anyone who has access to their outside power meter. The optical reader attaches right to the glass cover of your meter with an adjustable strap. The current product works with 5 or 6 different types of power meters. If you want to be sure it will work with yours before you buy it, follow this link and download the installation manual.
The two big advantages of this whole house energy measuring device over the TED (The Energy Detective) are:
The TED has more capabilities in displaying energy statistics if you connect it to your PC via a USB cable. You can get readings by the second, by the minute, over days, weeks, months or years. With the TED, I like to use the PC histogram setting to view daily energy usage over 2-3 months. It is very insightful for the times when you were out of the house and missed a few hours or days of watching the monitor.
Another difference, which can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage is that the PowerCost monitor uses batteries in both the optical sensor and the monitor device. So you will have to change the batteries from time to time … but this is the reason you can roam around the home holding the monitor. The TED’s measuring device is hardwired into your breaker box and the monitor device is plugged into a wall outlet.
Both great products for helping people understand their energy use — which leads to conservation. I’m hoping to get some of these in time for my store opening!