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Saving Energy at Home - by watching it. How ?

By knowing what you currently are consuming - measuring it wirelessly and displaying it conveniently in your living room.

Posted: July 1, 2009

Everybody who studied Edward Deming and his Continuous Quality Improvement principles knows that you can only improve your processes if you are able to measure them.

Difficult to do with your energy usage at home, when you only get a bill once a month. Wouldn't it be nice to see the watts your new wide-screen LCD TV is using when you turn it on.
We will introduce you to a device that is stylish, efficient, accurate, and gives you what you need to adjust your home electricity usage without the need of a computer. Unfortunately it's only available in Europe right now. It's called the Wattson energy monitor and it measures your current electricity use. Great idea - great implementation. See more at the makers web site in the UK. Launch in the U.S. might come in late 2009.

Above you see two display units to show different perspectives.

The Wattson system consists of a sensor/transmitter that is placed in your breaker box and the display unit. The two sensors clamp around the 2-phase hot power cables and the transmitter sends the measured electricity consumption to the display device you can place in your kitchen or living room. It shows you the wattage and calculated dollars you are using and have used respectively. Colors are used to show the amount of watts - green = normal; red = high use.

Updated: 11/11/09

We are getting some Help in California

New digital electricity meters may just provide the most critical part for monitoring youe electricity usage at home. They will post their KiloWatt resdings straight to the web.

PG&E, California's main power utility, has a big plan. It will spend $2.2 billion to install 10 million SmartMeters at their customer's homes and businesses. It will allow consumers to monitor their energy consumption by "logging on" to the meter via a web browser.

SmartMeter Image

The SmartMeters were standard issue for each residential solar panel installation for years now but rolling them out for all its customers will allow PG&E - in agreement with the customer - to charge different fees for electricity at different times of the day, helping customers to adjust the run times of home appliances - and read the meters remotely.

Now we just have to wait for the little gadgets that we can hang on the wall or put on the kitchen counter that will show us our electricity consumption in real time.
I sure hope "There's an App for That!" real soon.

Related Links:

Electricity Monitoring saves Energy

The Plugged-In Age haunts us (NY-Times)

Wireless Charging - The Powermat


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