Emporia smart home energy monitor review
The Emporia smart home energy monitor is a 2 or 3 phase electricity monitor, which provides real-time electricity consumption and generation monitoring, making it perfect for homes with solar panels.
- Monitors energy consumption on a per-circuit basis and solar PV generation
- Costs of power can be based on your specific tariff rates
- Works with Emporia’s smart plugs
- No subscription fees
- Energy usage reports are calendar based, so won’t necessarily match your billing period
- No in app consumption comparisons, so you need to download the data to compare one time period with another
- Circuit level monitoring does not provide device level consumption data
The Emporia smart home energy monitor is one of the best energy monitors for homes with solar panels. It’s simple to install and provides detailed data for up to 16 separate circuits helping you to identify where and when you consume and generate the most power.
Emporia smart home energy monitor features
- Works with most 2 or 3-phase 4-wire electrical systems (up to 240v and less than 600A). Does not work with 3-phase/3-wire systems (delta systems with no neutral)
- Each circuit you want to monitor needs a clamp meter to be installed. The basic system comes with 8 x 50A sensors, and you can add 8 more sensors to monitor up to 16 circuits in total
- Provides 24/7 real-time energy monitoring via phone based (Android or Apple) app. Real time monitoring requires a 2.4GHz wifi internet connection
- Can also monitor solar PV to provide net metering
- Vue sensors provide 1-second data and are accurate to ±2%
- 1 second data is retained 3 hours, 1 minute data is retained 7 days, 1 hour data is retained indefinitely
- Export data at any time via the app
- Includes DIY instructions, but a professional electrician is recommended
The Emporia Vue has recently been updated and the current model is the Gen 2. As with the original, this smart home monitor provides energy tracking in both directions. It can monitor electricity consumption on up to 16 different circuits in your home, showing you exactly where you’re using the most energy and if you have, or are planning to get, solar panels it will measure how much energy you generate as well.
There aren’t many products on the market which offer the ability to monitor up to 16 different electrical circuits in your home. The Emporia smart home energy monitor provides much more detail than a standard smart meter in home display and can even show your consumption and production in real-time.
Emporia smart energy monitor UK installation
Installing the Emporia smart energy monitor system is fairly straightforward. The Emporia Installation Guides are built into the Emporia App, but you can also download them below.
The main installation challenge is often getting power to the Vue itself. To do this you will need to shut off your mains supply and connect the wires to an unused spur on your fuse board. If you don’t have an unused spur, a wire-tap pigtail is included in the box that lets you borrow power from a different spur or breaker. But don’t be perturbed, Emporia’s instructions are easy to follow.
The only other issue can sometimes involve the antenna for the Vue’s Wi-Fi connection. The antenna needs a good signal in order to work well, but as long as your fuse board is not too far away from your router, or encased in metal or concrete you should be ok.
The final point to note is that, if you’re adding sensors on every circuit space for the sensors can sometimes be a challenge.
The final step is to tap the button in the app to indicate that you’ve installed your Emporia Vue, heard its power up tone, and you’re ready to proceed. Your phone will connect via Bluetooth to the system and then you’ll connect to a nearby Wi-Fi router. Make sure you have your Wi-Fi name and password to hand.
Emporia smart home energy monitor manuals
The Emporia Installation Guides are built into the Emporia App, but you can also download them here:
- Emporia VUE Smart Home Energy Monitor installation guide (PDF 1.8MB)
- Emporia VUE Smart Home Energy Monitor single-phase wiring supplement (PDF 227KB)
- Emporia VUE Smart Home Energy Monitor solar supplement (PDF 162KB)
Emporia smart home energy monitor app
The app does have some scope for improvements. While the instant view per second renders a nice graph, it becomes slightly cumbersome when you switch view to minutes and hours. It would be nice if you could change the graph style and tap on a graph bar to dig deeper for more details.
It’s also not easy to go back several months to find power spikes but this is easily done by exporting the data to csv and analysing it on our computer.
The Vue doesn’t connect to other smart home systems or IFTTT, which could be useful if you want to set up alerts if power consumption climbs higher than expected or spikes at odd times. But, with enough feedback these are things which Vue may add in future versions of the app.
Manage solar generation via the Emporia smart home app
You can also manage what your solar energy is used for via the Emporia smart home app. By setting your connected devices to automatically turn on (via Emporia smart plugs – £38 for 4 on Amazon, work with Alexa and Google) when excess solar energy is being generated you can maximise your use of solar energy. Devices are turned on in priority order until the generation is optimally consumed in the home. Plus you can use the app to limit the energy consumption of connected devices during peak hours, helping you to cut down your bills.
Connect the Emporia smart home energy monitor to Home Assistant
Home Assistant is an open source home automation tool created by a worldwide community of DIY enthusiasts. You can connect your Emporia smart home energy monitor to Home Assistant by following these instructions.
For the price, this is a great energy monitor for solar PV owners, which really lets you get to grips with both your energy production and consumption on a circuit by circuit basis. It’s simple to install and provides detailed data for up to 16 separate circuits helping you to identify where and when you consume and generate the most power.