I finally managed to get hold of an energy monitor for the house. I’ve been looking for one of these for a good while and finally got a great deal on an unwanted eaga monitor via eBay. My monitor is brand new and in original retail packaging and cost me £11 including delivery.
The monitor itself consists of a live cable clamp, a battery powered transmitter and a mains powered monitor. The live clamp clips around the live feed cable on the house side of the electric meter. Small magnets detect the current running through the cable and the transmitter broadcasts this to the desktop monitor. We have put our monitor in the kitchen so we can keep an eye on our consumption.
These units are a great way to reduce you consumption. Giving you live data about your usage and spiking when you turn on a device shows you how much electricity everything in the house uses. I was surprised to find with everything on standby the house still consumes 120w of power. With the iMac and MacBook pro on also this jumps up to 290watts. I’m fairly happy with that.
Another live indicator is how much the power you are using is costing you. Ours is 12p a unit so we can see that on idle the house uses 2p per hour and around 4p per hour with the computers on.
Other menus include the greenhouse gasses our consumption emits and the energy consumed in a given timeframe from 1 hour to 100 days.
The live data is the best deterrent and really makes you go around switching things off to reduce consumption. Simply putting the macs to sleep when you step away from the computer will save a small fortune over a year. I’m going to put timers on the major sockets to turn everything off standby at 1am until 8am which will probably save another small fortune over a month or year.
Below are some pictures of the monitor showing the various modes. Watch how the consumption rockets when cooking on an electric oven/hob with the water heater on at the same time. It jumps from 333watts to around 6.5kwh