Review: 3 Home Power Monitors

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Just installed the Powercost Monitor w/wifi. Very cool device and integration with Microsoft Hohm is great to have a history of what is going on. However the issue with all of these is that it nearly immediately makes you want for more detailed information to understand where the power usage is coming from. If we could get something that could report by circuit breaker, that would be nearly ideal and not as crazy as having to pay for every outlet to be monitored.
One random note: Windows XP, really??? ;)
 

Mark Heath

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(sorry for double post)
Even if you're not actually looking at buying one immediately, power savings are a good things for you and the environment and the stats and stuff in the intro were interesting to know.
 

audioee

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I live in an apartment so the power meter monitors don't do me any good.

I have been interested in the single outlet monitor. Do you have any insight on these?
 

cablechewer

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Audioee there are several devices like the Kill-A-Watt (sorry that is the only one I know by name) that can monitor power for a single device or power bar. I have had one for years and spent a lot of time checking how much each device I own consumes. Over time I have moved most devices in my home to power bars so I can switch them off or I have unplugged them.
 
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I had one of these http://www.egauge.net/ installed with my pv system. It can monitor consumption and production (if you produce your own electricity) of multiple circuits.
Installation is similar to the PowerSaveENVI, but monitoring requires a web browser. Data transfer is over powerline ethernet.
 

warpete

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I can't believe that this article doesn't mention the simpliest of devices that can be purchased anywhere. It's a wonderful thing to be able to test ANY appliance in your home or apartment to see where there may be ways to cut back. The "Kill-A-Watt" device sells on newegg.com for only $18.99 + $1.99 shipping. In an article discussing devices to measure power usage, it is pathetic to see that the devices that most people would actually be interested in (and can easily afford to purchase) aren't even mentioned in passing. Out of a score of 100 points, I would have to give this article a 25---just for being so totally incomplete. With the Kill-A-Watt meter, I recently discovered that my Apartment's refrigerator was using TRIPLE the power that it should be using. It's old and the compressor was running almost constantly. With the information that the Kill-A-Watt provided in hand, I was able to show management why my monthly popower bill was so high---and they gave me a new refrigerator. Most people want a simple to use, inexpensive and accurate device---not some high-tech expensive device that can be both difficult and dangerous to install. How about a new Article that is helpful to 90% of all people, not just the 10% that insist on the very latest high-tech units?
 
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We recently purchased an Envi to monitor our 4.1KW solar PV panels. We have had the PV system independently tested, and the Envi innacurately reports realtime energy production (Energy Now) by about 1KW. We have followed Envi installation instructions and even repositioned the installation several times, but we still receive inaccurate readings.
 
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I would rate the article at least a 90.
The article deals with whole house monitors, not individual appliances so the omission of the Kill A Watt is not a big deal.
While the Kill A Watt certainly has it's uses, it is also limited
to 120V monitoring, thus cannot check units that run on 240V such as air conditioning etc.
 
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Kill a Watt is a waste of time if you want to see what your total usage is. Some of us are interested in the latest and greatest. To have data that your computer can monitor, will be invaluable especially with the smart meters. Using appliances outside of heavy demand times can save some of us cash.
 
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i bought the Envi monitor and bridge on advice from this article. Easy to install and this is the best electronic advice I have received as the monitor works like a charm and the appliance monitoring is available (called an IAM) wirelessly as well. I have cut my electric bill by 10% now. Thank you for taking the time to review these products...saves me lots of time researching.
 
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