Home Energy Monitors: A Guide to Saving Money and Energy
Energy efficiency is the best way to reduce energy bills, and a great way to track your savings is to use a home energy monitor. Home energy monitors help homeowners identify where energy can be saved. In this article, we take a look at the benefits of a home energy monitor, how to choose the best one, and tips for using it.
What is a home energy monitor?
A home energy monitor is a device that helps track electricity usage in the home. They can monitor the amount of electricity used by each appliance and the overall energy consumption in the house. Some monitors can even be connected to the internet allowing you to monitor electricity usage remotely.
The main purpose of a home energy monitor is to help homeowners save money, and cut carbon, by reducing electricity usage. Home energy monitors can be used to identify appliances that are using too much electricity and to set limits on how much electricity can be used at certain times of day.
Benefits of a home energy monitor
There are a number of benefits to installing a home energy monitor, from saving money on your electricity bills to reducing your environmental impact. By tracking their electricity usage, homeowners can identify areas where energy can be saved and adjust their usage accordingly.
In addition to saving money on electricity bills, a home energy monitor can also help reduce a household’s environmental impact. By monitoring electricity usage and adjusting it accordingly, homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and help protect the environment.
Home energy monitors can also help homeowners identify potential problems with their appliances or wiring. If an appliance is using more electricity than it should, the monitor can alert the homeowner so they can take action to fix the problem.
Home energy monitors wont reduce your electricity bills on their own. But by tracking electricity usage, often down to the level of each individual appliance, homeowners can identify areas where energy can be saved and adjust their usage accordingly.
For example, homeowners can use the monitor to identify appliances that are using the most electricity and reduce their usage. They can also set limits on how much electricity can be used at certain times of day, such as during peak hours.
Homeowners can also take advantage of cost saving programs offered by their utility companies. Many energy companies offer time-of-use rates, which charge different amounts for electricity depending on the time of day. By monitoring their electricity usage with a home energy monitor, homeowners can take advantage of these lower rates and save money.
Home energy monitors vs Smart meters
Many people are confused about the difference between home energy monitors and smart meters. A home energy monitor is a device that measures electricity usage in the home, while a smart meter is a device installed by your energy supplier that measures electricity and gas usage in the home and sends the data to the energy supplier to help them provide accurate bills – see our post, smart meters explained.
Home energy monitors are typically installed by the homeowner and can measure overall electricity usage or the usage of specific appliances. Smart meters, on the other hand, are installed by your energy supplier and measure overall electricity usage in the home.
Either type of device can help you reduce energy usage by becoming more aware of which appliances are using the most energy. The main difference between home energy monitors and smart meters is that home energy monitors enable you to track electricity usage in the home, while smart meters enable your energy supplier to track your energy usage too.
How to choose a the right device
When it comes to choosing the best home energy monitor, there are a few factors to consider.
First off – do you need one!? If you have smart meter a basic energy monitor will not give you much more information – and if you don’t have a smart meter you may want to consider getting one instead of an energy monitor since they are free and provide very similar data. See the first of our top 10 energy saving tips.
Secondly, consider what you want to monitor and the the type of data the monitor provides. Some monitors provide detailed data about electricity usage for each electrical circuit in your house and can also monitor solar energy production, while others provide more basic information. If you’re only interested in a few devices and would also like to benefit from remote switching (turning appliances on and off via your phone) you may want to consider a smart plug with energy monitoring instead – which you could also use for monitoring multiple devices by plugging in a power bar with multiple sockets.
Finally, look out for recurring fees. Most energy monitors are sold for a one-off fee but others which provide more detailed data stored in the cloud can have a subscription fee.
Best home energy monitors
Our recommended energy monitors include:
Best plug in energy monitors for a single device:
- Nevsetpo Power Meter UK – £13 – Buy now on Amazon
- Power Meter Plug Energy Monitor – £17 – Buy now on Amazon
Best smart plugs with energy monitoring:
- HUMAX Wi-Fi Smart Plug – £18 – Buy now on Amazon
Works with Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT with App Control
- Eve Energy UK Smart Plug & Power Meter – £40 – Buy now on Amazon
Works with Apple HomeKit, Bluetooth & Thread
Best full home energy monitor:
- Aeotec Home Energy Meter – £80 – Buy now on Amazon
Best energy monitors with solar / net metering:
- Emporia Smart Home Energy Monitor – £90 / £130 – Buy now on Amazon
- Owl Intuition – £140 – Buy now on Amazon
See our detailed review of the Emporia Smart Home Energy Monitor.
Installing a home energy monitor
Installing a home energy monitor is a relatively simple process. Most monitors are plug-and-play devices that don’t require any wiring. All you normally need to do is to install a clamp meter around the cable which runs into your fuse board or electricity meter, which feeds usage data to the energy monitor.
Tips for using a home energy monitor
Once a home energy monitor is installed, there are a few tips homeowners can follow to get the most out of the device.
First, check the data regularly. By monitoring your power usage regularly, you will identify appliances and times of day when you are using the most energy and where energy can be saved by adjusting your usage accordingly.
Find out how your energy company bills you at different times of day and try to avoid energy usage during peak hours. Many energy companies charge higher rates for electricity used during peak hours, so it’s important to monitor usage during these times and adjust accordingly.
Finally, if you have a smart meter, you may also be able to register for the Demand Flexibility Service, which pays homeowners for reducing energy use at times of peak demand.
Home energy monitors are a great way to save money on electricity bills and reduce your environmental impact. By monitoring your electricity usage and adjusting it accordingly, you can save money on your electricity bills and help protect the environment. Once you’ve chosen a home energy monitor, make sure to follow the tips for using it to get the most out of the device.