Energy monitor reviews compare plug-in meters, energy meter readers and home energy monitoring systems using detailed product specification tables. Once you have narrowed your choice to the type of energy monitor you wish to purchase, these tables provide a detailed comparison of the specifications associated with similar models.
In brief, plug-in meters simple measure any 120 volt load that plugs into the wall. Energy meter readers mimick the utility meter's readings by capturing the data with a special sensor and transmitting it to a remote display. Home energy monitors actually measure current and voltage entering the service panel and compute the power and energy used. These units offer the best precision and can be further subdivided into single-point, multi-point and circuit level monitors based on the number of circuits measured.
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Plug-in Meter Reviews|
Plug-in meters are the easiest of all energy monitors to use. Simply plug the meter into the wall outlet and then plug the appliance you want to measure into the meter. The display will show the power used in watts or kilowatts.
Advantages: Inexpensive and very useful for measuring individual 120 volt loads. Combined with a whole house metering system they will allow you to build an accurate inventory of all the electrical loads in your home. Great starter unit.
Disadvantages: Does not provide a complete picture of total home energy use or allow measurement of 240 volt loads such as the hot water heater or the air conditioner. No data logging other than cumulative kilowatt-hours and min/max readings of basic electrical parameters.
Energy Meter Reader Reviews|
Energy meter readers monitor the entire amount of power entering your home as it happens. This is done by attaching a sensor to your utility's electric meter and reading the pulses as it records your power consumption. This is the lowest cost method for tracking total home energy use.
Advantages: No wiring is required inside the circuit breaker panel which makes installation safer for someone not familiar with residential wiring. Simplicity keeps the cost of the units low when compared with other home energy monitors.
Disadvantages: The devices are limited to mimicking utility meter readings, cannot measure individual appliance loads and have lower accuracy levels when compared with more sophisticated energy monitors.
Power Cost Monitor
Home Energy Monitor Reviews|
Home energy monitor systems measure and log the total amount of energy used in the home. Plug the system into your home network and you can view the details of home energy use on any computer. Smart phone apps allow you to connect to your home energy use from anywhere.
Home energy monitors fall into one of three groups, namely single point, multi-point or circuit level metering. Single point measures only one location which is typically at the electrical service entrance to the home. Multi-point measures at the service entrance and has additional channels that can track larger loads such as the air conditioner or hot water heater.
The Energy Detective
Advantages: Tracking software provides detailed accounting of whole house energy use by service entrance, appliance or circuit level. IP based systems provide energy data across home networks or to anywhere using smart phone apps. Data logging and level of detail provides greatest potential for sustained energy savings.
Disadvantages: Prices escalate as the number of measurement points increase. Installation requires work to be done inside the main circuit breaker panel. Hire a licensed electrician to do the work unless you are acutely familiar with residential wiring. Basic IP networking knowledge may be needed to trouble shoot communications.
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