Best home energy monitors
Home energy monitors allow a home user to get a view of the inner energy workings of a home. The home energy monitor connects to the electricity meter of a home in order to measure how much energy a home is using as well as providing more information to the homeowner on how to better manage and make energy use more efficient.
The best home energy monitors come with various features from recognizing and measuring the home energy consumption of individual devices to generating personalized power consumption recommendations in order to achieve energy efficiency.
A home energy monitor will allow you a solution without requiring you to put more effort into remembering to turn the lights off and are relatively easy to attach to your circuit breaker.
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Benefits of home energy monitors
Whenever you look at your energy meter or electricity bill you will get pretty light information such as how much electricity is used and how much that you are being charged but that is pretty much it and you do not get much info other than energy usage data.
If you would want to reduce your electricity usage in order to reduce your carbon footprint or even to save money, you would need to guess which devices are consuming the most energy. As such, a home energy monitor would be able to assist you in eliminating the guessing game.
The energy monitor is connected to the circuit breaker of your home and allows you to track energy consumption in much greater detail which allows you to cut energy consumption selectively.
The main benefit of a home energy monitor as mentioned just now is that it provides you info on usage which means you will be able to make informed decisions on how to reduce home energy usage which in turn helps you to save money! You will be able to track any overused air conditioning units, broken fans or heaters and if some of these devices can be fixed, will allow for more savings every month.
Besides, it will also be able to help avoid disasters since they also monitor energy usage for important equipment such as a basement sump pump in order to provide a safety net of sorts. This will ensure that your home does not get flooded resulting in expensive repairs.
What you should look for in a home energy monitor?
There are a few factors that you should consider when you want to get one to track electricity usage and we have compiled them into the list as below.
Household monitors vs Individual Appliance monitors
There are two main types of monitors which are household monitors and individual appliance monitors and it is important to distinguish between the two. Individual appliance monitors allow you to monitor the energy usage of a single appliance at any time and also provide more information about that particular device.
Meanwhile, household monitors are plugged into your energy meter and provide you with a complete and more general energy-use picture.
Different appliances in your home will have different ways of using electricity. Some home energy monitors will come with a recognition feature that is connected to your circuit breakers that will detect how appliances around your home are utilising electricity and will give you a sense of which appliance consumes the most amount of electricity.
Not every home energy monitor will have this feature though, and even the energy monitor that does, the technology doesn’t necessarily work perfectly. It will normally be easy for a home energy monitor to distinguish appliances between a TV or a refrigerator, however, appliances which use electricity in similar ways such as a toaster and a curling iron would be more tricky.
Real time cost tracking
Certain home energy monitors would allow you to track the energy usage of your devices in real-time. The benefits of real-time tracking allow you to watch as your energy usage either increases or decreases.
What this means is that you will be able to monitor and get a sense of the effects of turning certain devices off and on. As such, if conserving home energy is important to you, you should pay attention to whichever devices possess this feature
Most modern energy monitors would come with a mobile app that will be able to send notifications about your devices and provide tips for further savings as well as any abnormal energy usage in your home. As such, if you would like to get an immediate sense of energy usage in your home, you should lookout for a home energy monitor that comes with a mobile app.
Unless you have some basic knowledge of your circuit breaker in your home, we would recommend you install your home energy monitor by consulting your electrician. The home energy monitor you will be purchasing might mark itself as a DIY device but anything to do with your circuit breaker will definitely come with shock hazards.
Bringing an electrician will no doubt increase the total cost of the equipment but will bring definite savings once it is installed, additionally, you could treat it as a cost to prevent any further costs that might come with any accidents that might occur.
Solar energy monitor options
For those of you that are looking for solar monitoring energy monitors, there are some devices out there that allow you to monitor how much energy your solar panels are generating as well as measuring how much is used.
Now that you know what to look for in a home energy monitor, let’s jump right into our top picks for your home energy monitoring system.
Top 6 Best Home Energy Monitors in 2021
1. Sense Energy Monitor
The Sense Energy Monitor is one of the best energy monitoring devices you could get right now on the market. It uses a two clamp-on sensor to be installed into your home energy monitoring system and circuit breaker. This monitor listens to and records the unique energy signals of all your devices that are passing through the panel.
The Sense Energy Monitor also comes with a Machine Learning system that allows it to instantly identify which of your devices in your smart home are drawing energy.
Unlike other energy monitor apps, the mobile app that comes with the Sense Energy monitor crunches your energy usage data in order to provide insights and trends of your energy use so this will help you to reduce power usage while simultaneously saving money.
Since the device and app is able to instantly recognize devices based on each appliances’ unique signature, you are able to create some custom updates to notify you whenever which devices are active such as whenever your television turns on or an air conditioner turns on. Additional sensors can be installed on the device which allows you to monitor solar energy generation and usage.
There are some things to note about this device, such as if you would want to interact with cloud servers in your smart home, you will need a Wifi signal that is in close proximity to your home energy monitoring system. It also works for split-phase 120/240V panels as well as any other less typical layouts or boards.
There are however some downsides such as that the complexity of the Sense energy monitor requires it to be installed completely by an electrician for safety issues. There are also issues with the auto device detection that might not work 100% of the time or might take some time to work. It is also one of the pricier models out there.
- Detech devices based on their energy signal
- Comes with a mobile app
- Certified safe to be installed to your circuit breaker
- Must be installed by an electrician
- Costly compared to other home energy monitor choices
2. Emporia Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor
This Emporia Vue is a very cost-effective way to keep track of energy activities in your home with features such as being able to provide a snapshot of activity from every clamp on a sensor that is taken every second.
The Emporia Vue energy usage monitor also has an expansion module that provides 8 add-on sensors in order to track different circuits and also has the option to monitor solar energy generation and usage.
Although the Emporia Vue monitoring device comes with DIY instructions, it should be advised that it usually requires a professional such as your electrician to be able to install it properly and safely into your electric panel.
The snapshot of activity from each of the 8 clamps on the sensor that is captured every second will be sent to the Emporia Vue hub on the cloud. One difference between the Emporia Vue monitor compared to Sense is that Emporia Vue’s expansion provides 8 different add-on sensors in order to track separate circuits.
All insights and data on real-time as well as historic energy usage will be displayed through an Emporia Vue mobile app that is available on both IOS and Android. Information includes insights to the main power feeds along with separate circuits powering appliances.
- Cheaper than Sense energy monitor
- Provides up to 8 sensors for granular monitoring
- Provides actionable insights
- Requires an electrician to install
3. Wiser Energy Smart Home devices monitor
If you are looking for a power usage monitoring device that provides instant alerts and effective smart energy monitoring then the WIser Energy Smart Home Monitor is a great choice that stands out from Emporia Vue and Sense monitors.
The energy usage monitors from Schneider Electric detect appliances based on their energy signatures similar to Emporia Vue devices while still providing and efficiently capturing electricity consumption signals and instantly notifies you in order to save energy effectively.
Manufactured by Schneider Electric, this monitoring device will be able to provide useful insights that not only help you visualize your real time electricity usage but also the estimated electricity bill you will be getting at the end of the month.
Once this monitoring device is installed onto your home energy panel, it will start to monitor the energy consumptions within a couple of seconds. The mobile app also comes with instant connection to the system instantly while also being compatible with Philips Hue, Wemo Insight as well as Kasa Smart Plugs.
Before installing, you should turn off the power and remove the cover and place the monitoring device in an appropriate place within the power box.
Next, install the antenna and then connect the power cables and antenna to the monitoring device. Follow this by clamping sensors around service mains and then connect the power wires from a 2-pole circuit breaker to the smart monitor that comes with your package.
Finally, install the sense mobile app while being connected to the Wifi and follow the steps on screen to create and configure your account. You will then be done!
The Wiser Energy Monitor works by taking voltage and current measurements through the two clamps on sensors every second and it provides evaluation of the electrical signals of each device.
It provides the most analytical data of the more commonly used devices within the first week of installation. Wiser Energy Monitor utilises Machine Learning algorithms since many devices can take time to detect due to the evaluation of the complexity of their data. All in all, this device will be able to show some useful insights as well as complying with many quality standards.
- Comes with a smartphone app
- Also supports Alexa and Google Home
- Smart integrations with Kasa Smart Plugs, Wemo Insight and Philips Hue
- Requires professional installation
4. Efergy Energy Monitoring
The Efergy energy monitoring device is a low-cost way of monitoring electricity usage in your house. One of the best features is that it can easily be installed on your own requiring no professional and electrician’s help.
All you need to do for installation is to just position the two clamp-on sensors over the feeds from your panel and then you will be able to monitor real-time and past energy usage data through the Efergy mobile app.
As such, the major plus point of this option is that it can be DIY installed compared to other devices which may require a professional to install. After installation, the transmitter interacts with a receiver hub which is connected by a cable to your modem or router which subsequently transmits data to Efergy Cloud.
Once you have it all set up, you will then be able to access both real time as well as historic energy usage data through the Efergy App and then plan your budgets and targets for electricity consumption.
Some Efergy models will come with displays for data which are portable around your house and this allows you to easily monitor separate circuits or solar panels by purchasing additional clamp sensors.
- Transmitter signal is around 40-70m which is longer than Wifi signals used by most devices
- DIY Transmitter requiring only batteries
- Economically viable
- May have fewer quality of life features
- User experience an mobile app not as impressive compared to other monitoring devices
5. Eyedro Home Energy monitoring device
The Eyedro home energy monitor provides real time monitoring since energy costs are one of the biggest operational costs of your house. You will be able to smoothly monitor and track electricity usage in your house from any standard web browser since all monitors will be designed to connect to MyEyedro.com cloud service and start registering your electricity data with no additional costs.
You will be able to measure, analyze and store your electricity usage and cost information using Eyedro monitor. It presents your electricity data and real time electricity usage in innovative and engaging ways and also being easy to understand so that homeowners are able to monitor and track electricity across a wide range of applications.
Once you connect the Eyedro device, it will maintain a full 24/7 usage history while simultaneously supporting fixed, tiered and time-of-use rate structures.
Other features that come with the Eyedro device include real time graphs which you as the house owner will be able to view hourly, daily, weekly and monthly electricity consumption and costs as well as estimates of how much you will fork out for your electricity bill
Other special features that come with the Eyedro monitoring device is that it captures appliance start-up spikes and then notifies you of a power or network failure. Since it is designed and developed using modern technologies, Eyedro will be optimized for small screens of mobile devices so that you will be able to comfortably monitor your electrical data wherever you are.
The Eyedro electrical monitoring device is easy to install, all you need to do is to install the sensors of the electrical panel. If you possess the wired version, all you need to do is to connect the module to a nearby internet connection via the Ethernet cable that comes with the product.
The wireless model can be connected using the 3-foot Ethernet cable and power adapter to its gateway module.
Flexibility in installation
The user interface of the app is not friendly
6. Aeotec Energy monitor set
The Aeotec Energy monitor comes with a 200-amp maximum measurement and will be the smart meter where you as the house owner owns and controls the data. It will be able to record your home’s electrical usage in real time and up to 200 amps at once, with almost 99% accuracy and the data will be presented in either watts or Kilowatt-hours.
Utilising Z-Wave Plus and AEotec’s Gen5 firmware, this device is able to offer wireless connectivity that is optimized to transmit wirelessly in open areas of up to 328 feet.
It is crafted with a 2-Phase electrical system and this edition comes with 2 clamps and 1 monitor that connects to a 110 volt US standard electrical system. Each of the clamps will detect one load or circuit and reports the real time power consumption to your ZS-Wave smart home control gateway.
The data reported is wirelessly transmitted and encrypted using banking grade AES-128 encryption and will be stored on your Z-Wave hub so the data is owned by you and only you can analyze it.
You will definitely know how much you spend with this device as monthly power bills typically only go in one direction which is up. The Aeotec monitoring system will help you to reverse the trend by providing 99% accuracy that it measures your home’s electricity using either watts or kilowatt-hour.
Combining this feature with your Z-Wave gateway, it will allow you to diagnose which electronics in your home are making your electricity bill cost so much. Whether the source is your lighting or any other appliances, you will be able to take actionable steps in order to reduce how much these electronics are costing you.
- Links with all smart devices
- Greater privacy as data is not uploaded to cloud servers
- Users require to be tech savvy
- Only monitors main feed and not separate circuits or appliances
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How do I monitor the energy usage of my home?
In order to get specifics of how much electricity you are using, you only need one tool which is commonly called a home energy monitor. This device will be able to tell you how much kWh a device or any other appliance is using. This monitor can either be a simple plug load monitor that plugs into your outlet or more complex devices which connect to your circuit board.
Q: How accurate are energy monitors?
Some monitors are different in their accuracy that depends on what power they are measuring. If they are only measuring apparent power it will be less accurate at lower consumption levels at under 100 watts.