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Old 01-13-14, 11:39 AM   #1
b4u2
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Default Whole house energy monitor suggestions

I am looking to try and save money by reducing my energy bill. Was wondering what suggestion users here have for monitoring my usage. I have a TOD meter but the power company does not have a way for me to read the meter "real time". I thought about a Kill-A-Watt but I have a tankless electric heater that I want to monitor to see if that is what is costing me. Plus a kaw takes a while to monitor each device. I have thought about this one ( I am in the U.S.) elite TPM engage hub - home power monitor

This is what last months bill looked like.

Electric Residential Service Rate Code 407,408
572 Onpeak kWh $48.97
Energy Cost 572 kWh X $.01934 $11.06
Regional Transmission Service 572 kWh $13.40
1,053 Offpeak kWh $36.46
Energy Cost 1,053 kWh X $.01934 $20.37
Regional Transmission Service 1,053 kWh $24.66
Time-of-Day Meter Charge $.11010 X 31 Days $3.41
Basic Service Charge $.34520 X 31 Days $10.70
City Franchise Fee $3.38
$172.41 X Tax State % .00
Current Charges This Meter $172.41
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Budget Billing Amount $180.00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current Account Balance $398.42 $179.00
__________________________________________________ _________
Billing Period Avg Temperature Electric Use Per Day
This Month 31 F 52.418 kWh
Last Month 46 F 50.285 kWh
Last Year 38 F 54.087 kWh

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Old 01-13-14, 11:45 AM   #2
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The energy detective seems to have the nicest products for your application. The kill a watt works great for individual 110V items though.

Residential TED Products


If their new products are too pricey for you, there are some killer deals on their older design:

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/sale-t...2420-ebay.html
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Old 01-13-14, 10:48 PM   #3
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With smart meter (electricity) installed, I can now log on to the hydro site online and monitor our daily (even hourly) electricity consumption.

I also bought one of those B&D utility meter reading systems but ended not using it at all...citing that the smart meter system read just as well.

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Old 01-14-14, 07:59 AM   #4
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I believe MNRenovator had/has one of those, and he didn't like it very much.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:29 PM   #5
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I still have my Black and Decker power monitor, it no longer receives the signal from the base station. ..or I think that's the issue because it worked fine for about 3 weeks and then the indoor device would sporadically go to sleep mode which the manual says is because it doesn't have communication with the base station. I changed the batteries in both the indoor and outdoor pieces and then after a week it was back to doing it again every night and I had to press the sync button on a daily basis. Eventually it just completely stopped connecting entirely. The outdoor unit indicates it has power when I press the reset button on it and the indoor unit doesn't show any signs of an issue until it goes to sleep from lack of communication.

It's not too hard to setup though but I did have some major beef with the inability for it to show anything under 300 watts. To their credit, its hard when you are counting the black bar on the wheel and so its the nature of this form of measurement but it was weird watching it show 0 watts for ~30 seconds, show 300 watts for ~30 seconds and drop back to zero when you have a load under 300 watts. When it was working properly, it seemed to have reasonable accuracy but it didn't last long.

If I did it again, I'd go with something that has a current clamp on it, something like a TED. Once I got my electric bill down to 75kwh per month once, I figure there is little room to improve. I did find the most interesting part was seeing how much the air conditioner's power draw varied based on outdoor temperature. I was also surprised to see the dishwasher use 1-2kwh and 50 minutes of dryer time only using 3kwh and seeing the element cycle on and off during the cycle.
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Old 01-19-14, 08:37 AM   #6
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We have smartmeters here also. You might be able to use an aftermarket "reader" that uses a zigbee radio. Your utility may be able to tie the mac addresses together.

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