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Posted By Subodh on Monday, March 03, 2008
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Jolted by a huge PG&E bill, I went around an energy conservation effort by using these techniques.

After a lot of research all over the Internet I decided to spend couple of bucks (I'm in a $$$ saving mode, what am I doing spending more money?) to help me measure more accurately and scientifically rather than running from Circuit breaker to the electricity meter every now and then. The list came down to just three gadgets

To be honest, I was quite un-hopeful of what I was ordering from Amazon, more so coz I was actually spending more money rather than saving. The reviews on Amazon seemed to indicate that the Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor was probably the costliest and quite a useless product. Matter of fact: it was the most useful one! Combined with the P4460 Electricity Usage Monitor I was definitely on the right track. Here's how.

The Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor came in a nice packaging, an almost okay manual and it took me a while to fit in the batteries, sync it with the remote viewing device, run out to the PGE electricity meter, fix it, find it not working, unmount the remote unit, wipe the glass face of PGE meter with Clorox, fit it again -- getting it working in under 30 minutes! Of course, since PGE's billing is slab/usage based, it took me a while to input all the energy costs and their limits. One needs  copy of the recent electricity bill to set this portion up.

Couple of note(s):

7 cents a minute for a appliance is a lot of $$$ especially towards the end of the month when the metering is at the highest slab!
The dishwasher -- doesn't matter that it says "Energy Star" compliant. Every full, hot wash takes an average of $2.00 at the lowest rate. Itsa heartbreaker to see the Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor  show the current consumption of electricity at 75 cents an hour with just the dishwasher running! More on which appliances cost a lot in the next issue...
For some reason, the Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor  seems to have a delay of 30 sec to a minute to show the effect of turning a equipment on or off. Maybe its a way of conserving batteries on the remote unit but if one is planning to use the monitor alone, it can be quite difficult to pin-point an appliance's effect without the P4460 Electricity Usage Monitor specially with smaller wattage appliances.
It helps to see the cost per watt on the PowerCost Monitor and measure the wattage of an individual appliance instantly with the P4460 Electricity Usage Monitor



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  • Gravatar
    anonymous Thursday, March 06, 2008 at 11:04 PM
    Re: How to meter energy usage in a home?
    i assume you have been successful in your experiment. it would be gr8 if you could post results as well bcoz I think I'm facing the same issues. I called up the local electricians form yellow pages bit looks like i know more than them. good articles thx

  
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