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Power Monitors

Mark P

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In a new construction touted as being extra green, there was one of these "Owl Electricity Monitors" in the box, not yet installed. http://www.squidoo.com/owl-cm119-electricity-monitor

It got me interested I did some looking on the net (where else) and I find the idea interesting. The idea being that if you can see, quantify the amount of electricity each appliance uses, you will become more conscious of its use and cut back. Owl is out of the UK, but I found other companies to include one I had heard about on NPR called "Google Powermeter" http://www.google.org/powermeter/index.html This is a free computer program that works in conjunction with smart meters or other products like Owl.

Does anyone have / use one of these products and have an opinion on them?

If I wanted a smart meter installed, does the utility company charge more? Uh, what is a smart meter, is it one that has a digital display instead of the dials?

Ok, gents start discussing…

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Interesting product. If it becomes popular enough, the smart home market might add it to the feature list for smart home wiring so that homeowner's can get quantitive feedback on how much electrical power is used by various appliances in their home.

Of course, if advances in energy efficient construction were to outpace the rising cost of energy then this OWL might not take 'flight'.


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We have a Black & Decker unit installed at the day job. It was very easy to install, although it did take a few tries to get the reader aligned properly on the meter (the boss's son, our C.E.Uh-Oh, did it so go figure). Several customers a day check it out and are amazed at how little it takes to effect the juice we are using, turn off a bank of lights and in 10 seconds the usage updates with a measurable change. We have nearly 12,000 SF of conditioned space so it's tough to isolate a single appliance or fixture, but the customers seem to get it.


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Those things are becoming pretty common around here. I mostly see the Black and Decker, Kill-A-Watt, the The Energy Detective units. The "make your house more energy efficient" movement has really taken root around here - the Gov't will rebate homeowners up to $10,000 towards efficiency upgrades.


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