Defining energy monitors
How much energy gets used up in the house is a common question among homeowners. Energy monitors help to answer this question.
Power monitoring controls are small tabletop gadgets that allow you to know the amount of energy used in your home and how much you pay for it. They also disclose money saved when you start changing ways of using energy.
How the energy monitors work
There are two types of energy monitors:
I) Whole house energy monitors- these are handheld screens that can be placed anywhere in the house. They communicate with small separate units that are clipped on the meter to disclose electricity used in real time.
II) Online whole-house energy monitors- these work like the above, but you can view details online from your phone or computer.
The main difference between energy monitors, prepayment meters, and smart meters
Keep in mind that energy monitors cannot substitute energy meters.
Smart meters- the meters can send usage details directly to the energy provider. The meters monitor your electricity and gas usage accurately.
Payment meters- They are different from the traditional meters because one has to top-up credit before they can use electricity and gas.
How much can you save with energy monitors?
On its own, the power control cannot help you save money. It, however, enlightens you on the amount of energy you are using; therefore you can change some things to help cut back on the electricity and gas bill.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, energy usage can drop between 5-15% in the first year you use the monitor. On a Rs.40,000 bill, this can save you up to Rs.6,500.
How much are the energy monitors sold?
Some energy providers give out free energy monitors with some of the tariffs they offer.
However, the arrangement may not work for you thus you can opt to subscribe to a different tariff and buy the energy monitor on the side. It may cost you between Rs.10,000 to 20,000 with an extensive selection variety.
Plug-in monitors can also be used which is ideal for calculating power usage on individual devices.
Are the energy monitors accurate?
When the screen only measures the apparent power, it will most likely be less accurate at lower levels of consumption.
Whole home monitors are not great at measuring overall consumption as it has to be measured when the device is running normally, and the process repeated when it is off.
They are beneficial when it comes to devices that do not have plugs like immersion heaters, alarm systems, central heating pumps, cookers, showers, etc.
What to consider when comparing energy monitors?
Since there are various options available some of the features to be on the look out for before purchasing one include:
- Display that shows current usage.
- Wireless connectivity and portable display for easy positioning around the house.
- Ability to view historical data.
Make sure you make your home as energy efficient as possible to benefit from using the energy monitor that may encourage you to use less.