Energy Monitors, Practical or Just Entertaining?

sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
I see that some here have the TED5000 for monitoring their electrical usage. There are some others too, such as Brultech, that let you monitor several individual circuits. But the price for them is significant.

So what I'm wondering is if people who have purchased these monitors feel they're "getting their money's worth" from them, by either being able to reduce electrical usage or spotting something they didn't know about, or was it worth the price for the entertainment?

Comments

  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Energy Monitors, Practical or Just Entertaining?

    I just have electric meters that display 3 use periods plus the day's total. One has cables and plugs mounted - portable.

    I find it interesting what various items/appliances are really consuming.

    I would love to install one of the fancy systems monitoring individual circuits - my house is wired 'home run' to individual consumers.

    I use the meters a as toy and I enjoy playing (monitoring it).

    Russ
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Energy Monitors, Practical or Just Entertaining?

    I started out reading my meter every night just as I got home from work. This was fine up to Dec/Jan/Feb. When it was raining and cold outside, made reading the meter suck. Brought a TED 1000. Have since moved on to a custom industrial PLC system.

    As to cost to benefits, That is going to affect each person differently.

    2006 used 7,215 KWHs
    2010 used 1,079 KWHs

    For me, it was worth it. But the same results could be gotten from using a "Kill-O-Watt" meter or reading the house meter.

    Bottom line is what you can/will do with the data from these devices.

    Speaking of data, The PLC system I am currently using just saved me more money. Started to log the heater times for each zone in the house. Found the living room thermostat programed wrong. Estimated to save about 100 gallons of propane over the last two months.
  • xiphiasxiphias Solar Expert Posts: 52 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy Monitors, Practical or Just Entertaining?

    Kill-A-Watt and a clamp meter have proven sufficient for my 'typical' residential structure to understand loads and plan reductions.
  • jcgee88jcgee88 Solar Expert Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Re: Energy Monitors, Practical or Just Entertaining?
    xiphias wrote: »
    Kill-A-Watt and a clamp meter have proven sufficient for my 'typical' residential structure to understand loads and plan reductions.

    I use a Kill-A-Watt, too, plus an IR thermometer. The latter
    doesn't measure electrical loads, of course, but has been a big
    help in spotting heating and cooling energy leaks.

    I have been thinking of getting egauge, as that provides
    load and generation data, both on an instaneous and
    time lapse basis. However, egauge is pricey at $652 for
    a complete kit. That's hard to justify for something that is
    more in the "entertainment" category for me. I keep
    wondering if I had had my installer put this in with the array
    whether it would have qualified for the Federal tax credit?

    One of the Kill-A-Watt results has me on the horns of a
    dilemma. The meter has measured my 10-year old fridge as
    using $150/year of electricity. Equivalent new fridges use only
    $50/year. The fridge is now my single biggest consumer of
    electricity (other than A/C), and is >15% of my total bill.
    However, replacing it would cost either $900 or $1500,
    depending on which replacement model I pick. Either is
    a long payback period. Plus, my fridge realistically has ten
    more years of life in it. Decisions, decisions!

    John
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