Best Energy Usage Monitors

By Amanda Lasater

With residential electricity prices on the rise, it makes sense that many people are considering adding an energy monitoring system to their homes. Energy usage monitors will help you gain a better understanding of how much energy you are using and how much you are wasting.

Therefore, these devices end up saving you a great deal of money. To help you understand your options, we’ve compiled a list of the best energy monitors on the market today.

Our Picks for the Best Energy Usage Monitors

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sense monitor

Best Overall

Sense Energy Monitor with Solar

The Sense Home Energy Monitor is a revolutionary energy monitoring system that will provide you with meaningful and powerful information about your home – and end up saving you money.

The Sense monitor is installed in your home’s electrical panel and begins to collect data and provide insight into your entire home’s energy use and activity. The device lets you monitor how much electricity you are using, where and when you are wasting energy, and even keep tabs on what devices are on. Over time, the machine learning algorithms of Sense identify the power signatures of individual devices within your home and compare them to a growing database of appliances and home electronics.

As these devices are identified by Sense in the app, you can name them, monitor them, set notifications for when they are turned on and off, and learn whether they are the most energy efficient choices for your home. This solar bundle also includes monitoring of your solar energy input and output, allowing you to recognize if you are making the most out of your solar energy.

etekcity smart plug

Best Budget

Etekcity Smart Plug

Etekcity Smart Plugs are an extremely affordable and convenient option in home energy monitoring.

Simply plug the smart plugs into your existing outlets and download the VeSync app to start controlling your outlets remotely. The app will allow you to monitor the energy usage of any device that you have plugged into the outlet, identify wasteful energy habits, and ultimately save money by reducing that waste.

You also have complete control over the power of the devices you have plugged into these smart plugs. You can create schedules for your lamps, fans, etc., and program them to turn on when you wake up in the morning. Etekcity plugs are even compatible with Alexa, so you can voice command an appliance to turn on or off.   

water monitor

Best Water Monitor

Flume Water Monitor

Flume is a smart home water monitoring system that allows you to catch leaks, conserve water, and protect your home.

The device is installed on your home’s water meter and begins to monitor your water consumption and sends you real-time water usage data straight to your phone via the Flume app. The app includes a budget tool which allows you to track water use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and begin to take action to reduce your water bill.

Flume also features an intelligent leak detection system that, thanks to the real-time leak alerts, allows you to protect your home from water damage. The Flume app is highly intuitive and easy to use and the Flume monitor takes less than five minutes to install, so there is no expertise required to use Flume effectively.  

Kill a watt energy monitor

Easiest Setup

P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

The Kill A Watt Monitor is a simple device that lets you monitor your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month, and year.

By simply programing in your utilities provider’s cost of electricity, you can understand exactly how much each appliance is costing you on your energy bill. Once you plug the monitor into an outlet, you plug the appliance into the monitor’s outlet.

The device also allows you to check the power quality by monitoring voltage, line, and power factor, so you can finally figure out whether it is time to get a new refrigerator. 


Why do you need an energy usage monitor? 

When you look at your energy bill, you realize that it is seriously lacking in information. The electricity companies aren’t providing you with an itemized bill that explains why your energy consumption peaked this month and resulted in a higher bill. Instead, your bill tells you two things: how much total electricity you used and how much you’re being charged. 

Without an understanding of what specific habits are costing you the most, trying to reduce your electricity bill is like taking a stab in the dark – you just have to guess which devices are the culprits and hope that you were right – unless, you have an energy monitor. Home energy monitors solve this problem and eliminate this guessing game. They allow you to easily identify exactly where your energy waste is happening so that you can make informed decisions on how to start saving. They also come with added benefits, like the ability to schedule on and off times of your lights, monitor when appliances are on, and even turn off appliances remotely. 

How to choose the right energy usage monitor

There are a large number of energy monitors available today, and they vary greatly depending on their features, their main functions, and their price. When you are shopping for an energy usage monitor you have two main considerations:

  • The features. Features vary greatly on energy monitors today but the main differences are found when comparing basic monitors with advanced monitors.
    • Basic monitors: The most basic features are found on the outlet monitors or smart plugs. These will monitor the appliances that are plugged into that outlet and then inform you of the power use of each. They will also give you the ability to turn the appliances on or off remotely and schedule times for them to automatically turn on or off.  
    • Advanced monitors: The more advanced features are found on monitors that attach to your home’s electrical grid. These analyze your entire house’s energy patterns and offer monitoring of all the energy-using devices within your home. These advanced monitors will allow you to pinpoint exactly what habits can be changed to cut a substantial amount of money from your bill.
  • The price. Energy monitors can range from $15 to upwards of $1000 – and, in general, the price is entirely based on the features. Once you have established what features you need, start looking around at prices. Determine what is realistic for your needs and establish a budget that you are comfortable with.

Conclusion

For anyone looking to better understand and control their home’s energy use, energy monitors are the perfect answer. Remember, energy monitors are monitors, so they do not control your energy bill. Instead, they give you the information needed to start making changes to your energy consumption. If you take action based upon this information, you will ultimately save money and your energy monitor will pay for itself over and over. 


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