Monitoring your Electric usage - Alertme.com

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by johny5_uk, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. johny5_uk

    johny5_uk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    For those conscious about costs (I know there are a few on here that are keen mpg watchers! ;) ) I came across this device/website that monitors your electric usage and is pretty impressive.

    Ive been wanting an electric monitor device for some time but the ones you get from home base etc just had a cheap monitor/display to look at.

    This one comes with a natty home hub that you connect into the internet to enable you to view various usage graphs online and also on an iPhone with a free app.
    The data is realtime so if you were to switch on a pc or a kettle then you can instantly see the difference.

    Not only that, you can add to the setup with further devices that you can control from your iPhone like plug sockets and lights. You can also add various alerts to be sent via email, say for instance if the electric usage hit a certain value.

    The basic kit (which is more than adequate) comprises of a nice hires colour display, the home hub and a device that connects to your electric cable near the fuse box (wireless). All this for £49.99.


    I am not in any way linked to these people, but was impressed with the kit so thought I would share. (the values on my screenshot are obviously still updating :) )

    Energy monitor - Save energy & lower electricity costs - AlertMe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    I believe some electrical supply companies are giving away similar energy monitoring devices for free if you sign up with them. While a good idea in theory there appears to some criticism of their accuracy. :dk: I believe they use some form of inductive clamp meter on the main supply line into your house. Thanks for taking the time to post the details --appreciated.:thumb:
     
  3. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    Grober, you are correct that use an inductive clamp to monitor (I would not use the term "measure" as this implies accuracy) usage. I was sent one free by my supplier but I have not bothered to set it up as frankly I use what power Ineed and no more so my costs are what they are. Ensuring your home is as well insulated as possible and not leaving equipment turned on when not in use is about as far as we can go to reduce consumption.
     
  4. finisterre

    finisterre Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I use what I need too but some methods of dealing with tasks are much better than others.

    Dishwashers for example, I love ours, I reckon they save a packet.
     
  5. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    These are interesting devices and I have been using one for a couple of years now. But they are inaccurate. We are now on pay as you go, and this device allows you to see your usage also in real time. The meter from the electric company always displays about 100w less than the other monitor, and since this is the one that determines what I pay, this is the one I believe.

    The graphs etc are also very interesting. But I have found that there is nothing quite like paying for your electric in small dollops. Its about cash flow, discount and awareness.
     
  6. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    I quite agree, if the dishwasher breaks we eat out!!!:bannana:
     
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  7. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    I feel the same but I have been glued to the water meter which we had installed a couple of weeks ago. Always said I wouldn’t have one as I didn't want to feel constrained on water use, but I discovered I'm paying 3x what my metered neighbours are.

    Re electricity - Everyone is saying you should snap up solar electric now as until next April you can get 25 year guarantees on the electicity price paid per unit. It's expected that the scheme will be reduced in value significantly from April.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  8. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    I have the 'free' version when I moved to Eon similar in that the clamp attached to the electric cable and then its wireless to the box.

    I agree its interesting to 'watch' switch the kettle on and watch the values rise, switch the tumble dryer on and it lights up. Thing is with four of us in the house (two little ones and two adults) we use what we use what I would suggest is....

    Rather than just use the gadget to tell you what your using do something about it :)

    Insulate your house as best you can, fix that drafty door, window seal, insulate your loft, fit boards over it, cavity wall insulation etc etc.

    Then, gradually change the bulbs you have for the low energy LED ones.

    I also have fully off standy gadgets that when I switch the TV off at night on the remote, it turns off the TV, DVD, media box, amp etc all fully OFF not just on standby and leaves just the sky box on so it can record etc.

    One thing I'm looking into is home automation (X10) or similar. I can then have the lights in the play room say turn off if no one in their :) and when I'm at work using an iphone or similar turn on or off appliences as I want.

    All these little things that don't cost that much will help :)



    As for a water meter we have been on one for years and I still wash the cars as I did once or more a week, baths for the children, showers for us. We also have a reasonably lage pond that need topping up now and again and we still save using it :)
     
  9. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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  10. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    Spain has just reduced their's and it's being challenged in court.

    It's generally considered unthinkable that a UK Government would do it though.
     
  11. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    Modern appliances use next to nothing on standby. Our LCD tv,consumes only 0.9w on standby. This a negligible amount. If I went on a 4 week holiday and left the TV on standby (not recommended btw because of other risks), it would only have consumed 604.8 wh. That's about 10p. Or put another way, the same amount of electric that is used if the TV is on for 3hours.

    The killers are washing machine, tumble drier, dish washer and electric shower. We try to use the major appliances during the night on Econ 7. This also allows for showers up to 9am.
     
  12. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    Can I have your one then? :D
     
  13. vijilants

    vijilants Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I was sent one by Eon.

    What really surprised me was the accumilated electricity consumption of items on standby, chargers that were doing nothing, etc etc.

    BY going around the house and disconnecting stuff that does not necessarily have to be on, according to the meter the cosumption dropped by 100 watts :):)
     
  14. OP
    OP
    johny5_uk

    johny5_uk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just doing that could make a big difference. The reason I bought one was because my electric bill actually dropped over the last quarter by £30 and I didn't really know why (wasn't complaining though!).
    Items on standby can make a difference if you have a lot of them.
     
  15. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    If a charger is plugged in, but not charging, then it is NOT consuming electricity. If you want to know the amount used on standby it will be on the rating plate/label of the appliance. As I said modern appliances use next to nothing. To use 100 watts I would have to have 110 42" lcd tvs.

    I suspect the drop was more to do with the fridge kicking off when you made the readings. Even doing nothing the readings will fluctuate by as much as 300watts as your fridges and freezers etc cycle on and off.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  16. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    Again, look at the rating plates for standby wattages.
     
  17. EDZ649

    EDZ649 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  18. br0ke

    br0ke Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A guy I know well built a new house about 4 years ago and had solar water panels installed. He never shut up about how hot his water was and how low his oil consumption was. Hie electric bill was impressive too - for the wrong reason.
    After a few years it became clear why - the solar panel installers commissioned the system and left his immersion heater on. It was in the basement of the house and he never went near it.
    It had been on for over 2 years....Ouch.
     
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  19. corned

    corned Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If these domestic meters only clamp the incomer, then they can only measure current, and not voltage. Therefore there are bound to be inaccuracies. They must work on a pre-programmed assumption of what the incoming voltage is, and therefore if the supplied voltage is any different, then the inaccuracies creep in.

    Unless VA (or better still, Watts) is calculated, not one of these meters will effectively be worth anything other than the vaguest of indicators!
     
  20. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    It would have only been topping the heat up in the upper part of the cylinder and only when the water was below the thermostat cut out temp.

    Our solar really is good, most of the year it supplies all our hot water. I even run the dish washer off hot now to maximise the heat gain.
    Today we collected 6.5Kw of heat energy and the cylinder was at 55c.

    Currently using 530W of electricity in the house, I think most of it's this PC...
     

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