Home Energy Use Monitors
Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 10:27AM
Infinity Magazine in Home & Garden, Home & Garden

By Robin Mahle

In today’s economic climate, it’s no wonder that people are looking for ways to stretch their hard-earned dollars.  Fortunately, as a result, this can mean great things for the environment.  One way to accomplish this is the Home Energy Use Monitor.  While several variations of this product exist, below are three popular models, ranging from the basic to the sophisticated.

The P3 International P4480 is a simple, yet effective home energy use monitor.  Choose which device to measure its energy consumption, plug it in and the digital display shows the energy use of that device in kilowatt hours.  It can also calculate electricity expenses over a day, a week or even a month.  This battery operated monitor, starting at approximately $52, is accurate and easy to use.

The Black & Decker EM100B Energy Saver Power Monitor is a middle-of-the-road device offering accurate readings in both kilowatt hours and dollars.  This product includes a wireless transmitter and a wireless handheld device.  One drawback is that the display unit must be within 60 feet of the transmitter.  So, for apartment or condominium use, it will likely not be effective.  The transmitter connects to the electric meter outside and is fairly easy to install.  It too will display historical energy usage for tracking expenses.  This monitor starts at approximately $65 and claims to save up to 20% every month on electricity costs through consumer awareness of energy consumption.

Finally, the Home Energy Monitor by Battic Door is a high-end energy use monitor with a transmitter and display device.  The trickier installation process of this unit may be off-putting to some as it must be attached to the power cables inside the breaker box.  Power must be shut off to the house and careful attachment of the sensors are priority.  Don’t be too discouraged, however.  Once installed, the display unit can be connected to a computer for monitoring anywhere; allowing the owner to view energy consumption even while on vacation.  This monitor also displays in kilowatt hours or dollars and claims a 15% savings on electric bills.  Starting at $125, this high-end unit provides accuracy and flexibility to monitor usage from anywhere.

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