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Home Energy Management – Home Automation

Updated on January 15, 2010

Home Energy Management

The recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES) revealed how important Home Energy Management has become. For years Home Automation been the focus of home technology research and development – for example, remote control of home entertainment and home lighting.

Now, big names like Google, Verizon, GE, Whirlpool – and smaller companies like SmartHome, EcoFactor, and Control4 – are testing and marketing new home energy management products: These companies see growing markets for these products because they:

  1. Help consumers save energy and money, and
  2. Help electric utilities reduce demand growth and manage peak power demand.

Real time energy feedback meters

If you knew exactly how much electricity your hone is using and how much it is costing you in real time, -- this minute, this hour, this day – you’d have a tool to reduce your electric bill.

Fortunately there are inexpensive real time energy feedback meters on the home automation market right now that monitor your whole house electrical consumption.

Studies have shown that you could save as much as 10-20% on your electric bill -- if you knew how much electricity each of your appliances and power-eaters were using -- and made some simple adjustments to optimize their use.

Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and Energy Meter II | image credit:
Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and Energy Meter II | image credit:

The PowerCost Monitor and Energy Meter®

The PowerCost Monitor and Energy Meter® is a powerful in-home, wireless, real-time electric meter in two parts -- a sensor and a power use display.

Attach the sensor to your utility's outdoor electric meter with a simple ring clamp. The sensor does not interfere with meter-reading by your utility. It transmits data wirelessly to your monitor.

Place the in-home display where it is convenient for you to read and act on your data. Follow a simple guide and you can use this power meter to tell how much electricity is being used by each room in your house, each breaker circuit, each appliance.

Google PowerMeter

Google wants to use information and technology to address global challenges, such as energy management.

Google’s goal is to develop an energy information software tool that will enable consumers to make informed choices about their energy use as they browse the web, read email, or use a mobile phone.

Google PowerMeter | image credt:
Google PowerMeter | image credt:

The new Google PowerMeter is designed to receive information from smart meters installed on your house by your electric utility. The smart meter -- combined with in-home energy management devices -- enable the PowerMeter to visualize this information for you on iGoogle (your personalized Google homepage) and manage your energy use.

And, the Google PowerMeter is free.

Google is working with utility partners around the world to test and deploy the PowerMeter. If you’re a customer of one of these utility partners, you’re in luck.

If you're interested in the Google PowerMeter and your utility is not a Google partner, or your house does not have a smart meter, you can now use PowerMeter with The Energy Detective 5000, a small-screen monitor that provides real time electricity use data.

Other manufacturers and developers are undoubtedly working on additional products and software applications that are compatible with and utilize the Google PowerMeter.

What home energy management tips can you suggest?

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