It’s hard to know much energy to conserve when you don’t know how much you are using. For most of us, the only information we get is what is presented in our monthly electricity bills. What if you could get down to the appliance level and figure out how much power in the form of kilowatts is being consumed? Or even better, if you knew what that translated to in terms of actual dollar costs- you would be equipped to make better decisions about how and when to use electricity consuming devices.
The answer is in the form of Electricity Monitors. These handy devices allow you to measure how much power is consumed by anything that runs on electricity. Here’s how it works: you insert the plug of the device you want to measure into the electricity monitor. You then plug the electricity monitor into the electrical socket. You can get instant statistics on volt, amps and wattage consumed. There are several models of Electricity Monitors available on the market today with different features and levels of details to measure electricity consumption.
One of the most popular brands available is Kill a Watt meters from P3. Their most basic model, the Kill a Watt P4400 features an LCD display that shows you how much many kilowatt hours are being consumed and lets you cycle through voltage (volt), amperage (amp), wattage (watt), line frequency (Hz), and power factor (VA) for the device being monitored. To go a step further, the KIll A Watt EZ Electricity Monitor P4460 model extrapolates the data so that you can forecast usage by week, month and year.
EED’s Watts Up Meter work in a similar fashion to the P3 Kill a Watt Monitors, in that you plug your device into the electricity monitor to get consumption statistics. Where they differ is EED Watts UP Meters’ ability to let you plug in your utility rates so that you can calculate how much that translates into actual costs. They also offer more metrics such as watt usage, power factor, watt hours, cost, voltage and amp data. You can even download the data to a PC or upload to a server for further analysis of the data with the .NET model. The standard model, the Watts Up 57777 can calculate cumulative consumption and cost of the monitored device if it’s left plugged in for a period of time. The Watts Up Pro 99333 model can store load data for a week or month and can be downloaded to a computer and further analyzed with the Watts Up Pro software. The main difference between the Pro model and the Watts Up Pro/ES 82756 model is that the later can store twice volume of data.
Blue Line’s Power Monitor follows a different mechanism to track your real time power usage. You have two components with this solution: a sensor and a monitor. The sensor attaches to your electrical meter which is located outside your home. Using a wireless data transmission, the sensor communicates with the LCD display which can be located anywhere. It transmits real information on kilowatt usage. By entering your utility rate, this innovative solution can even calculate how much your electricity is costing you. By viewing your real time and cumulative electricity costs , you can make better informed decisions about using energy more efficiently.