Electricity Monitors

Track your power consumption with home electricity monitors

If you're committed to reducing your electricity usage, the first thing you need to know is how much electricity you're using during a specified period of time. This helps you quantify for conservation efforts and isolate areas for improvement. Electricity monitors are a powerful tool you can use to track your power consumption.

At their simplest, home electricity monitors tell you how many watts of power you are using at any given moment. While all buildings have electricity usage monitors or meters that allow the power company to bill you for their services, they only keep tabs on the total amount of electricity you've used over a period of time. The data generated by these electrical monitors doesn't do a whole lot to help you identify appliances that are wasting energy or note where and when most of your power is being used.

How Home Electricity Monitors Work

Whenever you use an appliance, the flow of current going through the power cable generates a magnetic field. This magnetic field is measurable if you have the right equipment, and home electricity monitors have advanced detectors which sense the power of this field and translate its relative strength into a unit of measurement of your choice; most digital electricity monitors allow you to see the amount of power being consumed in watts, or the per-hour cost of running a given appliance. While dimmer switches and energy saving light bulbs can help you trim electrical costs, few measures are as effective at identifying sources of wastage as electricity monitors.

Energy Monitors Help You Save Money

While simple electricity monitors fill their intended role quite well, you can get more advanced units that give you a much wider range of capabilities. High-end digital electricity monitors can be interfaced with your home computer or laptop, allowing you to run statistical applications in tandem with the electricity data the monitor generates. These statistical programs let you apply filters and define parameters, allowing you to track power consumption from the minute or hour right up to the month or year. Some of the more complete programs on the market also highlight suggestions for places you could trim your usage, resulting in power savings of as much as 20 percent or more.

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