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39 Reviews
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 (11)
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product! Definitely worth it!
I was skeptical about something like this at first. I wouldn't have even thought about getting one until we had a very large bill for utilities last month. I decided that since the meter was less than what was wasted in electricity last month, it was probably worth it. And it was. Our utility company doesn't print the cost per kwh on the bill so I got an education on just...
Published on September 2, 2009 by Alan

versus
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty neat device, but it only lasted a month outdoors
We got one of these some time ago, and installed the outdoor unit outside on the electric meter (as it needs to be set up). It does provide real-time tracking of your electrical usage, though on our large home we have so many cycling motors in heating systems and refrigerators and such that you could not practically test turning on an off a light and see how it changed...
Published on February 28, 2010 by Andrew J. Lundberg


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product! Definitely worth it!, September 2, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I was skeptical about something like this at first. I wouldn't have even thought about getting one until we had a very large bill for utilities last month. I decided that since the meter was less than what was wasted in electricity last month, it was probably worth it. And it was. Our utility company doesn't print the cost per kwh on the bill so I got an education on just how high our electricity rates were compared to surrounding areas. After getting that initial kwh cost, setup was easy. I only needed a flat and a phillips screwdriver and I was done.
I was really surprised when someone in my home who always leaves the tv on and the lights on when they leave the room was walking around and seeing how much the meter changed when they turned things on and off. The education that electricity does cost money was worth it. If you're trying to save the planet with this, then save your money and just shut everything off. If you're trying to live life and save money for your family, this is a great buy.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty neat device, but it only lasted a month outdoors, February 28, 2010
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
We got one of these some time ago, and installed the outdoor unit outside on the electric meter (as it needs to be set up). It does provide real-time tracking of your electrical usage, though on our large home we have so many cycling motors in heating systems and refrigerators and such that you could not practically test turning on an off a light and see how it changed the load.

The real weakness of the system is that the sending unit mounts outside on the electrical meter, and while it appears weatherized with seals on the battery compartment and reset switch, we had a heavy rain after a month after installing it, and the seals didn't seem to actually keep the electronic dry. The unit died from the water exposure (and didn't recover once dried out). So while it was pretty neat, it only lasted a month, so I'd avoid this unless your meter is well shielded from rain.

In retrospect I'd suggest looking at the competing products that mount entirely indoors at the circuit panel, as anything less weatherproof than the electrical meter itself just isn't going to last.

Andrew
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neat idea, but only until it rains, February 28, 2010
We got one of these some time ago, and installed the outdoor unit outside on the electric meter (as it needs to be set up). It does provide real-time tracking of your electrical usage, though on our large home we have so many cycling motors in heating systems and refrigerators and such that you could not practically test turning on an off a light and see how it changed the load.

The real weakness of the system is that the sending unit mounts outside on the electrical meter, and while it appears weatherized with seals on the battery compartment and reset switch, we had a heavy rain after a month after installing it, and the seals didn't seem to actually keep the electronic dry. The unit died from the water exposure (and didn't recover once dried out). So while it was pretty neat, it only lasted a month, so I'd avoid this unless your meter is well shielded from rain.

In retrospect I'd suggest looking at the competing products that mount entirely indoors at the circuit panel, as anything less weatherproof than the electrical meter itself just isn't going to last.

Andrew
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great but the outdoor part only lasted one year, September 28, 2010
By 
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I found the PowerCost Monitor easy to set up for both the indoor display and the outdoor part that couples to the electrical meter. The information provided about our electricity use was extremely helpful. Although it records your aggregate electricity use, you can get an instant profile of power consumption for individual devices if you power only one device on at a time. (For example, in the future I will only buy a gas clothes dryer and not an electric dryer.) My complaint is that the outdoor part of this device broke after one year. Sold on the idea, I bought the Energy Detective which couples to my electrical panel and has lasted several years. However, it was necessary to have an electrician install the Energy Detective. Installation of the PowerCost Monitor is easier and safer.

The PowerCost Monitor and the Energy Detective are like having a taxi meter display of your actual power use. It can hurt to see how much money inefficient appliances are taking from you in real time.

Last year, our electric company had computer billing issues and sent us bills that were off by several hundreds of dollars. We only paid the amount shown each month by our Energy Detective. When the power company had straightened out their billing issues, it turned out that our estimates from our meter were almost identical to theirs. Without this device, we would have panicked at their incorrect bills.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remote sender for your power meter, October 26, 2009
By 
Don Treply (East coast USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a gadget for the 'tron-head but any home-owner or renter can use it too. You strap on one piece to the glass case power meter outside aligning the sensor to the little wheel that goes roundy and the remote receiving unit goes inside 50 to 100 feet from the meter. Then it tells you current consumption rate, amount used since last reset and differential use if you turn on or off a high watt power sponge, like your electric dryer or water heater or baseboard heater or the power strip feeding all your computer gadgets. So you know how green you really are. And you don't have to keep track of those pesky arrows and numbers on the meter outside, this tells you digitally what your 'lectricity footprint is. Easy interface and setup.
Took me 1/2 an hour to setup and learn what I was looking at. The freebie is you get a thermometer reading on the sensor so you know if your meter is chilly or hot and sunny.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good product idea, but the fix was too late, January 14, 2012
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
This review is for the BLI-24000, which was discontinued about 2008, to be replaced by the BLI-28000.

I had the display unit in my kitchen, and it was very informative to see my energy usage basically in real-time. I discovered that the central heater in my new home was not an energy efficient design and was using about three times as much as newer designs would. I was shocked at what a hog the heater was, using over 14kw when active. If the heater needs replacing then I will be sure to get the one with the a/c compressor unit that is a reverse cycle heat pump, instead of the coil heater I apparently have now.

This product worked well, as long as it didn't rain too heavily. And once the rains came then the outdoor transmitter stopped working for a few days until it dried out. It also often stopped working if it was exposed to direct sunlight, perhaps due to the sunlight interfering with its electric eye that reads the spinning disk.

After one particularly long bout of rain, the transmitter never worked again. I eventually opened the casing and I could see that the electronics inside were water damaged. When I look on the Blue Line website, I see that the newer version of this product has been improved, in order to correct the design defect that allowed water to collect inside the electronics.

Its rare for electronic devices to fail after only a couple years of use, as most such devices seem to last at least a decade or three. And for the high price I had paid for my unit I decided to see if I could get the transmitter's electronics replaced.

After contacting Blue Line I discovered to my surprise that they do not stock any replacement parts for their product, and they could not help me in any way with getting my unit repaired. Apparently their plan for maintaining their product line is for you to throw it away when it dies. This is especially irritating, given that it died due to a known design defect. And for a product that originally cost over $100 dollars, and one that is only a few years old, how can they not plan to provide service for it? This shows that making a good product is more than just a glossy design and a friendly voice on the phone. A truly good company makes sure they maintain their products through a reasonable life cycle.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective sensor after one year of ownership., October 19, 2009
We used this product for about six months to monitor power usage and then forgot about it for a few months. When I pulled it out of the closet to get it running again I found that the sensor (the sensor is installed outside on the meter) batteries needed to be replaced--no big deal. While I replaced the sensor batteries I found that moisture had gotten inside the battery compartment and the sensor no longer worked--one month after the one year warranty ran out. I don't know about anyone else but I am really sick and tired of buying electronics/appliances that don't last. One year of use is unacceptable. Blue Line Innovations would not replace this sensor since it was out of warranty. It is a neat idea poorly executed.

Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor, Model# BLI-28000
PowerCost Monitor
Black & Decker EM100B Energy Saver Series Power Monitor
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good product idea, but the fix was too late, January 13, 2012
This review is for the BLI-24000, which was discontinued about 2008, to be replaced by the BLI-28000.

I had the display unit in my kitchen, and it was very informative to see my energy usage basically in real-time. I discovered that the central heater in my new home was not an energy efficient design and was using about three times as much as newer designs would. I was shocked at what a hog the heater was, using over 14kw when active. If the heater needs replacing then I will be sure to get the one with the a/c compressor unit that is a reverse cycle heat pump, instead of the coil heater I apparently have now.

This product worked well, as long as it didn't rain too heavily. And once the rains came then the outdoor transmitter stopped working for a few days until it dried out. It also often stopped working if it was exposed to direct sunlight, perhaps due to the sunlight interfering with its electric eye that reads the spinning disk.

After one particularly long bout of rain, the transmitter never worked again. I eventually opened the casing and I could see that the electronics inside were water damaged. When I look on the Blue Line website, I see that the newer version of this product has been improved, in order to correct the design defect that allowed water to collect inside the electronics.

Its rare for electronic devices to fail after only a couple years of use, as most such devices seem to last at least a decade or three. And for the high price I had paid for my unit I decided to see if I could get the transmitter's electronics replaced.

After contacting Blue Line I discovered to my surprise that they do not stock any replacement parts for their product, and they could not help me in any way with getting my unit repaired. Apparently their plan for maintaining their product line is for you to throw it away when it dies. This is especially irritating, given that it died due to a known design defect. And for a product that originally cost over $100 dollars, and one that is only a few years old, how can they not plan to provide service for it? This shows that making a good product is more than just a glossy design and a friendly voice on the phone. A truly good company makes sure they maintain their products through a reasonable life cycle.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped us to understand, so we can save, July 18, 2011
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased a month ago with the hope to save money and energy. It was easy to install and setup. The real time information has helped us better understand where we were spending and using electricity and the appliance button allowed us to see what appliances, game consoles, TV's and other electrical devices were costing us. We went from room to room and turned on and off electrical devices so we all understood the cost to run these items. We have learned alot and more importantly, saved alot. Everyone should own one, saving money and energy is easy...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly accurate. Locates the power hogs!, July 19, 2011
By 
This review is from: Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased one of these kits for $10.00 used, but in excellent condition in Seattle. It was simple to install after reading the PDF manual that I downloaded. **Make sure to place a rubber insert under the sensor if you have the "top IR port" type electric meter. This device raises awareness regarding how much power that you are using at all times. The clothes dryer is pulling about 6.4 KW per hour on average and when there are no 240 volt appliances running, I'm burning very little power, since I have a full solar panel array on my house. My electric bill is around $8 dollars per month all year round. (I have a bio-diesel furnace) I installed an automatic hot water heater shut off device and it is set to turn the hot water heater on at 3:00am (during off peak hours) and run for one hour so I will have hot water when I get up and shower before work. The water is extremely hot every morning and it's still hot enough to take a night shower around 8:30pm. Therefore my hot water heater only runs for one hour per day. Energy saving devices are simply amazing and pay for themselves fast. I am using very little power from City Light. One thing that I learned... soon as the dryer stops, take the clothes out to avoid wrinkles from setting in the clothes. Iron them all as soon as possible and place them on hangers. Irons can pull 1.5 KW's so you don't want to keep running your iron all day. Iron your clothes and shut it off. It's not always a matter of saving money, but it does feel good to get record low electric bills! Don't skimp on power saving equipment. Invest in a solar panel system, an automatic water heater timer, and Kill-A-Watt meter. YOU NEED TO SAVE POWER!!! It's not about being a Tree Hugger, it's about having money for nice lunches at work and to get some new clothes and shoes.
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Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor
$109.00 $75.08
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