I’m hoping that the development of smart metering/grids leads to the installation of meter monitors in homes. Latitude 38 is currently looking into options for residential utility real-time tracking. There are a bunch of companies trying to develop products in this “space,” but the demand has not yet caught on to establish an industry leader. There are a number of devices that show you kW currently used in real-time (basically the utility meter duplicated in your house looking like a beeper), as well as others that track kW usage per outlet, but I am interested in whole-house systems with a user-friendly web interface for comparing to others. Nothing like a little competition to get people to be more efficient. Here are a few I have come across (none of these track down to the circuit or outlet level):

Lucid Building Dashboard
Lucid recently installed their commercial monitoring system at Newcomb Hall at UVA. They have developed a residential model, but it does not appear to track more detail than by the meter. It also appears fairly pricy (I have a request out now). We’d love to see them to provide info down to the circuit or outlet level. Their interface is very easy and fun to track real-time energy use though. And they also track water usage, which is a big plus.

Google PowerMeter combined with The Energy Detective
Google.org has created a free tracking system (similar to tracking web stats through Google Analytics) that ties into a few different meter monitoring devices. They are currently pushing The Energy Detective. There are some other models out there, but most are sold in the UK or AU. I happen to be a big fan of Google, so I have high hopes for this system. It appears to be the lower cost option as well. Only problem is that The Energy Detective sold out all their devices when they announced their partnership with Google. I’ve put in a back order though!

PowerCost Monitor
Wireless device that looks like a digital clock. Reads from another device attached to outside meter. I like the simplicity and cost of this system, but no web interface. Sold in Canada.

Wattson
This one definitely looks better than the PowerCost Monitor, but it is also basically just a digital clock style. Sold in UK.

Silk
This one looks like it has a modem, but cannot tell much about it. They are on facebook and twitter though. Not sure what that says about them. Sold in South Africa.

Know of any others you think are effective? Know of any that track down to the circuit or outlet level? Please let me know.

About Joey Conover

http://latitude38llc.com/team/joey-conover/
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4 Responses to Residential Utility Monitoring

  1. Jeff Cornejo says:

    Not sure if this meets your needs as they tend to specialize in green power…

    http://www.fatspaniel.com/

  2. Ray Lepper says:

    We are providers of a very cool residential electricity monitoring system called e-monitor. We’re installing the first unit in a local green-building contractor’s office/warehouse (so we can show it to clients). Check out the e-monitor website here http://powerhousedynamics.com/

    It’s affordable, easy to install, and accessible from the web.

    • joey says:

      Thanks Ray. This looks similar to the Dashboard program being used at Newcomb Hall at UVA now, but for residential use – and is wired down to the circuit and major outlet use! I’ll give you a call for more info. Please email me any pricing or literature that you have.

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