Are Energy Monitors Worth The Money?
Photo pixlefrenzy Flickr, CC
You’ve probably heard at least some of the buzz surrounding energy monitors of late. They’ve been in the news, and their popularity is growing as more people begin to jump on the green bandwagon. And hey, it’s great news!
But can energy monitors really help you save money? Are they worth the investment?
Let’s take a look!
Using Energy Monitors To Save Money
Energy monitors are made to give us a visual on how much energy our appliances use during the day. They range from tiny, “one appliance at a time” monitors, to whole-house systems that enable you to see the energy spike when the refrigerator door opens.
Consumer Reports tested several energy monitors this year (the Kill-A-Watt and the Watts Up). And, they were happy to report that both of these models were accurate.
So, how do you use these devices to save money?
Well, everything depends on the actions you take using the data you get from the energy monitors.
For instance, say you purchase a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and plug it into the power strip that holds all the plugs for your TV, DVD player, and stereo. You leave it there overnight, just to see if all those claims about “vampire power” are really true.
The next morning you check on the Kill A Watt . Your findings? Vampire power really does exist. All those electronics are sucking down kilowatts even when they’re turned off, which is costing you about 20% of your electric bill every month.
So, you start unplugging your power strip every night.
The end result? You’re saving 20% off your energy bill.
Which Energy Monitor To Choose?
Energy monitors run the gamut from $23 into the hundreds for a whole-house system. Deciding which energy monitor is right for you, however, all depends on how much information you’d like to have at your fingertips.
I have the Kill-A-Watt energy monitor myself, and I love it. It cost just over $20, and this little device has helped me make adjustments in my energy use so that I’m using less and saving money.
Courtesy Google PowerMeter
If you’d like to see exactly how much it’s costing you to turn on a light or microwave a cup of coffee, then a more expensive, whole-house system might be a better fit.
You could also think about using a system like The Energy Detective (TED) alongside with Google Power Meter. If you have a TED energy monitor in your home you can sync it with Google Power Meter.
Google then charts your energy use based on TED’s data so you can easily see how much you’re using. You can also compare your energy use to other people.
Yeah, it’s neat. But it only works with TED energy monitors at this time.
Energy monitors can really help you save money on your electric bill. But, only if you take action based on the data you get!