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Energy Monitor 101: Glossary of Terms

These words were defined for the Watts Up? Energy Meters, but their definitions may be gleaned for general energy monitor / power monitor terms as well.
  • Current Watts: Indicates the instantaneous true RMS wattage currently being consumed by the appliance plugged into Watts Up?.

  • Minimum Watts: Determines the lowest wattage drawn for appliances that run continuously.

  • Maximum Watts: Shows the maximum wattage since Watts up? was plugged in or the MAXIMUM was last reset.

  • Power Factor: Power factor is the percentage of electricity that's delivered to your house and used effectively, compared to what is wasted. 1.0 power factor means that all the electricity that's being delivered to your home is being used effectively for its purpose. Most homes today have a power factor of 0.77 or less.

  • Cumulative Watt Hours: Indicates the cumulative watt hours consumed since Watts up? was plugged in or last reset. Watt hours equal watts multiplied by time.

  • Average Monthly kWh: Shows the watt hours which will be consumed each month. This is used to determine how much electricity a load will use per month. AVERAGE MONTHLY KWH = (watt hours)/{(# of elapsed days)/(30 days)}.

  • Elapsed Time: Indicates the elapsed time since Watts up? was plugged in or last reset.

  • Duty Cycle: Shows the duty cycle as a percent. Duty cycle is the percent of time the load is above a threshold level.

  • Cumulative Cost: Indicates the amount of money consumed since Watts up? was plugged in or last reset.
  • Average Monthly Cost: Shows the cost per month for the appliance that is plugged in. This is a prorated average. AVERAGE MONTHLY $ = (cost) / {(# of elapsed days) / (30 days)}.

  • Current Volts: Indicates the line voltage.

  • Minimum Volts: Shows the minimum voltage. This can be a good indication of the line quality serving the outlet Watts up? is plugged into.

  • Maximum Volts: Shows the maximum voltage. This value shows voltage surges.

  • Current Amps: Indicates the current (amps) being drawn by the appliance plugged into Watts up?.

  • Minimum Amps: Shows the minimum amps. This will typically read zero. It is used to determine the lowest current drawn for appliances that run continuously.

  • Maximum Amps: The display now shows the maximum amps since the meter was plugged in or the MAXIMUM was last reset.

  • Duty Cycle Watts Threshold: Shows percent of time appliance is above a threshold level. The threshold can be changed to any number between one and 1500 watts.

  • Tier 2 kWh Threshold: Some utilities use more than one rate structure. Watts up? has the capability to utilize a second rate based on total usage, which is called the TIER 2 rate.
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