I was expecting more from this product. Cost per day and per month is useless as it is figured from your current energy usage at that moment, not your actual usage for the day. Also, I don't like that I have to wait until midnight to see how many kwh I used during the day. I would like to see a running total throughout the day. I didn't buy a USB cord so I haven't downloaded the data. Maybe doing that would give me more useful information. Installation was very easy, though, and straight forward.
Amazing how much you can find out about your appliances with this. I had no idea my chandelier was burning 300 Watts 8 hours a day; that makes it worth going to LED bulbs. I can see the 6KW my air conditioner takes when it kicks in, so I'm using fans when the outside temp drops below the inside temp -- and my lovely wife understands!! A home water cooler was burning 60 Watts night and day, now it's on a remotely controlled power strip. I also found out that putting a non-dimmable CFL on a dimmer ages it quickly, and can make them take up to 3x their rated power before they burn out. Graphing the realtime output takes external software and my favorite one ( at [...]) takes linux, bash, networking and perl skills to get to working, but you don't need any of that to start finding out what influences your electric bill.
I was suspicious as this unit cost 1/3 of some of the wireless ones with the same feature sets. The electric company wouldn't give me the wireless key required by many, so I decided to try this little unit out.
If your breaker panel is jammed full it may be hard to fit in the clamps and wireless sending unit. In fact, mine had a horizontal bar for the main feed so I couldn't put it inside the panel, but clamped them right on the two mains coming from the street. I've ran and tested it for two months now, and am incredibly happy with the results so far. Each month it has been within 1% of what the electric company reported. Monitoring it has allowed me to find items that were plugged in but not being used (IE computer scanner, amp), that were still pulling 75-80 watts just by being plugged in. It also helped me identify that the hvac people mis-wired my AC system by watching the wattage pulls- my heat strips weren't working when they were supposed to, and my 1st & 2nd cooling stages were reversed.
It's easy to install/configure, only took me about 5 minutes to do it, and so far I've been able to drop my electric bill by 60% since I've been using it.... for the price you just can't beat it. Note that I have this setup to monitor the whole house, I didn't need to put it on any specific device as you can view each devices wattage pull by default when it's powered on. If you want to monitor individual devices you can, but you have to buy more sending units and I had no reason to justify the extra cost.
It works well - understand it calculates your usage using the current that the CT Clamps are measuring so it is not 100% accurate - My calculations have it within about 3-5 % however which is close enough to get a idea of what you are using and wasting energy on.
Google Power Meter is OK - it is not the best however.
Do a GOOGLE search for VSPE Virtual Serial Port Emulator. This will let let you clone the output so that you can use more than one piece of tracking software.
I use Google Power Meter and the ENVI Techtoniq Monitor. Both use less than 3% of my CPU on an ATOM Based NetTop.
The Techtoniq software has better graphs. I am still trying out others but so far it looks like it is just about the best.
Will be brief. I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep. where we have energy issues, utilities have been unreliable for over 50 years and energy costs exceeds, by far, U.S. an United Kingdom prices of a Kwh (short for kilowatt hour). A Kwh in the end run is basically how much energy (watts) you use per time (hour), using a simple math formula (watts --or Kilowatts-- x time = Kwh). Less Kwh means less money on your budget, so Kwh reduction is your target for energy savings.
The EnviR is apparently a household common device used for some time in the United Kingdom and recently elsewhere and I bought it some weeks ago. The manual is very deficient and a better online version or a downloadable .pdf version is a must, if the manufacturer just wants to save on paper costs as the monitor intends to save us on energy use.
Don't take me for granted 100% as we all have different requirements and hardware at our homes, but this is the homework I did on the version intended for the USA 120-240 volts AC protocol: buy the EnviR (Home Energy Monitor) at Amazon, of course. Set it up at or near your electric panel using the two included sensors (they are just amperimeters) that measure amps (amps x voltage = watts) and relay, wirelessly, the data to a display which surprisingly reaches quite far, considering all the concrete it needs to travel at home.
Connect the two included sensors to the transmitter, which is not small buy not large by any means. Follow the manual and set up the display and you will start receiving the data. Took me 15 minutes or less. But remember, as in computers, nothing is "Plug and Play" but "Plug and Pray".
The display shows all needed info except how much money you are really spending per day, week or month. It displays just how much money your spending per each appliance turned on or off at the moment (not my taste of choice). But Kwh on a daily, weekly, monthly consumption rate is provided and the rest is a simple math exercise.
Beware!!! ... the EnviR never matches 100% your electric meter (oops ???). To improve its accuracy, increase or decrease a voltage parameter setting --in the display- and a adjustment button --in the transmitter-- and voila!, your Kwh's will increase or decrease until you are close to the real thing. Yesterday the utility company meter measured my home at 25.9 Kwh of energy use in the last 24 hours and the EnviR measured 25.8 (how good is that?).
Of course the display settings are pre-set at 115 volts as default and I had to set mine at 130 volts so that the internal calculations reached almost my real consumption. My model allows for seven voltage settings starting at 100 volts and up to 130. Relax, voltage setting are just for internal math calculations between the sensors transmitting and the display receiving and do not alter either your home voltage or that of the device.
Since the display device does not provide all the data you wish for, purchase the special cable for PC use. If Amazon does not carry it, currentcost.com does. Then download a trial version of Techtoniq Energy Station software at the Current Cost website and in minutes you have all the data and graphs, in real time you wish for.
If instead, you want to upload your energy consumption data to the Internet, every 5 minutes, no need for the PC cable or the software I just recommended, buy instead the "Web Bridge" hardware device at Amazon, connect it to the display and also to your Internet Router with the cables, as provided by the Web Bridge device. Then log in to the Current Cost website, input the device's enclosed serial number and that is it. Then you will see your energy data consumption from anywhere, i.e., PC's, tablets, smartphones and see it all pay for itself as you start being energy conscious.
And yes, set up your account settings, input your average per Kwh cost (from your last utility bill) and the data will also include and estimate of your current energy cost or a total as per your last day.
No need for Google Power Meter web services (no longer operational), as Current Cost has its own website, providing use of their free service for all the energy monitoring.
Third parties also offer their software for PC or Web based services but for a modest fee.
In conclusion: a good product, lousy manual, great price and always pays for itself!
Will be brief. I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep. where we have energy issues, utilities have been unreliable for over 50 years and energy costs exceeds, by far, U.S. and United Kingdom prices for each Kwh (short for kilowatt hour). A Kwh in the end run is basically how much energy (watts) you use per time (hour), using a simple math formula (watts --or Kilowatts-- x time = Kwh). Less Kwh means less money on your budget, so Kwh reduction is your target for energy savings.
The EnviR is apparently a household common device used for some time in the United Kingdom and recently elsewhere and I bought it some weeks ago. The manual is very deficient and a better online version or a downloadable .pdf version is a must, if the manufacturer just wants to save on paper costs just as the monitor intends to save us on energy use.
Don't take me for granted 100% as we all have different requirements and hardware at our homes, but this is the homework I did on the version intended for the USA 110-220 volts AC protocol: buy the EnviR (Home Energy Monitor) at Amazon, of course :-) ... Set it up at or near your electric panel using the two included sensor clamps (they are ammeters), that measure amps (amps x voltage = watts) and relay, wireless, the data to a display which surprisingly reaches quite far, considering all the concrete it needs to travel at my home.
Connect the two sensors (clamps) to the supplied transmitter (not small but not too large). Following the manual, set up the display and you will start receiving the data. Took me 30 minutes or less. But remember, as in computers, some things are not always "Plug and Play" but "Plug and Pray".
The display shows several variables such as energy consumption (watts) quite instantly and watts and/or kilowatts per day, week or the last 30 days . But not how much money $$ you are spending per day, week or month. Instead, it displays how much money you are spending per each appliance turned on or off (not my taste of choice). But if you already figured out your local cost per Kwh, the rest is a simple math exercise.
Best part: the EnviR never matches, 100%, your electric meter (oops ???). To compensate, increase or decrease the voltage parameter settings as allowed by the transmitter settings and voila!, your Kwh's will increase or decrease until you are close. Yesterday the utility company meter measured my home at 25.9 Kwh of energy used (last 24 hours) and the EnviR measured 25.8 (how close is that?).
Of course, the transmitter comes pre-set at a 115 volts setting, but I had to adjust mine to 130 volts just so that the EnviR internal calculations reached almost my real consumption. My model allows for seven voltage settings starting at 100 volts and up to 130. Relax, voltage setting are just for math calculations of the sensors (clamps) and do not alter either your home voltage or that of the device.
Since the display device does not provide for all the data you wish for, purchase the special cable for PC use. If Amazon does not carry it, currentcost.com does. Then download a trial version of the Windows based Techtoniq Energy Station software at the Current Cost website and in minutes you have all the data and graphs, in real time you wish for. Apple users have several choices, I did not evaluate, at the currentcost.com website.
But if instead (like I did), you want to upload the data to the Internet, every 5 minutes, no need for the PC cable or the software I just recommended, just buy the "Web Bridge" hardware device (also at Amazon), connect it to the display and also to your Internet Router, with the cables provided by the Web Bridge device. Then log on to the Current Cost website, input the device's enclosed serial number and that is it; see your energy data consumption from anywhere, anytime (also from any smartphone cell phone) and see it all pay for itself as you start being energy conscious.
And yes, when setting up your account, input your average per Kwh cost (from your last utility bill) and the web based data will also include estimates of your energy cost, per that day.
No need for Google Power Meter web services (no longer operational), as Current Cost has its own website, providing users a free hosting service for all their energy monitoring.
Third parties also offer other software for PC's, Apple and/or Web based services, but for a fee.
In conclusion: a good product, lousy manual, great price, ... but always pays for itself!
I have been using this product for over two months now and I have managed to save 40% of my energy bill; it came down from 2500 KwH to 1500 KwH per month. This unit showed me when I was consuming most of the energy and then I had to find out what was consuming it which is fairly easy (A/C, dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, iron, water heater, lights, water pump, etc.) Then I decided to take it from the top: biggest consumer was the water heater so I installed a timer switch and set it to just run when my family took a bath (I also lower the thermostat temp). Then I purchased an A/C with a higher SEER rating (SEER = BTU / Kw) and after installation I calculated it pays itself in 8 months. Then came the water pump that consumed as much as the water heater 5 KwH and it was turning on constantly because the whole house water filter clogged up easily; so I changed the water treating system (with the same micron rating) and now the pump is only needed 20% of the time it was needed before. I kept on going and analyzing the consumption and took action around the information provided by the monitor. It has also created a conscience of how much each appliance consumes. Another big hit was teaching the cleaning lady to turn off the iron when she is watching Orphan.... iron consumes 1200 KwH for 4 hours a day, 2 days a week, 4 weeks a month. You get very detailed information since the unit updates every 6 seconds. This information can be graphed with many application created by third party. Look for them in the Current Cost website. My favorites are MENISCUS and CurrentChart. Also you can get info right on you mobile phone is you purchase the NetBridge and hook it up to a router. Installation is very easy. Wireless coverage is fair, just go with a trial and error when placing the monitor until you find a convenient spot.
The most important thing you need to be sure about before investing 120 bucks is that you are willing to change your energy consumption habits and this device will help out. You can't control something if you can't measure it.
Another thing, this device will never be show the same energy consumption as your electricity bill because it cuts the days consumption at 12am and you never know when the electric company makes the energy cuts. In my particular case it has shown a 35 KwH difference compared to my electricity bill which is a 2.3% difference which I don't mind because the unit is designed to be a reference, not an energy meter substitute.
The box contains the display unit with power cord, two clamp-on style current transformers (CT), one transmitter and product manual. I sync'd the receiver with the transmitter per the instructions and the unit worked immediately. I opened up my breaker panel in the garage and connected the the CT's to the each of the 120v lines coming to the panel and sat the transmitter in the bottom of the panel while I went inside to ensure that I still had a good connection; I did. I replaced the panel on the breaker box and still had good communication. The manual states that the signal would be good up to 100 ft and that you should take off 10' for every wall that is between the transmitter and the display unit. My transmitter and display are about 20 ft apart on a straight line distance and separated by about three walls (hard to tell since it goes through the garage wall and hits the corner of a bedroom and the kitchen and there are applicance in between.) The entire hook-up took approximately 15 minutes. I don't know how accurate the unit is since I don't have anything to compare against except the meter outside. My power company charges different rates for different levels of KW usage, so I calcualted my average KWh rate from last months bill and put that into the unit. I knew that my AC compressor was a large load, but did not realize just how large it was. Another item that is an energy hog is the electic oven; I was shocked at just how much power it actually used. I have only had the unit for half a day, but so far it is working fine and I have something that allows me to monitor my power usage.
Another good feature about this unit is that you can monitor up to ten different loads on one display unit if you purchase separate transmitter/CT assembly. This would allow you to monitor your whole house usage and ten different single loads such as your AC unit, water heater, dryer, etc...) The problem would be finding enough room in your breaker panel to put all of the transmitters. I could probably squeeze in one more transmitte but doubt I'll do it.
So far, I am very pleased with the purchase based on price, working immediately and ease of use.
I rarely leave comments, but this product only has 5 reviews currently and I thought it deserved another positive review.
I purchased the Current Cost EnviR with wireless transmitter. One of the supplied D batteries turned out to be defective...no big deal. Unfortunately I forgot to order the optional data cable ($12 w/ $8 shipping from their suggested vendor), or more expensive "internet bridge". I want to upload my historic energy usage to my PC, so I ordered the cable once the device was up and running.
It has only been running for a few hours, but I've been able to figure out the power usage for a lot of my devices. Since I didn't purchase any of the optional individual appliance monitoring plugs, it took a bit of patience and effort to record usage for multiple devices/appliances. The bottom line is that I have already discovered some "energy vampires" and have turned them off.
As advised in the manuals and on their website, you may wish to hire an electrician to install the wireless transmitter if you aren't confident you won't electrocute yourself. I installed it myself and was pleased that I survived!
Probably my biggest surprise, next to how much power we were wasting, was that my wife actually likes it and uses it too.
We've had it about 5 months and the first month I was able to cut our electric bill by about $50/mo and every month since. So it paid for itself in two months.
This is easy to install and even easier to use. It took me about 15 minutes to install. Our power panel is in the laundry room, 6 screws and I had the clamps connected. I mounted the unit on the wall outside the panel. There was room inside but I wanted to be able to see the unit and battery light. I also figured the range would be better if it were not inside the metal electrical panel.
Usage is easy, it shows you your instant usage as well as day, week and month. We look at the unit throughout the day and I check it before we go to bed at night to make sure nothing was left on. Now that summer is here it's shocking to see 10 kilowatts on the display when both AC units are running but we are still using less electricity. Most was in ghost loads and things left on like the sub woofer for the entertainment system using 40 watts when off. We turn our computers off at night now also. We live in Houston so electric bills in the summer can get outrageous. We had bills last summer over $600/mo. So far this year, our largest is around $300.
The unit did not come with the USB cable, my bad because even though it was in the pic when I looked later the description said it was not included. I called to order one and the gentleman sent me one at no cost(can't say he will do the same for you)
I wish it had better recording and monitoring software like the TED but after reading all the problems people were having with the signal on the TED I am happy with my choice. Despite that the unit does what it says and pays for itself very quickly. I think every home should have one. If nothing else its like the mileage computer and mpg reading in your car. It doesn't control what you do, but it keep you informed and helps you make decisions about your energy consumption.