earth day: home energy metering

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Post on 14-Jun-2015



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2010 Earth Day presentation by Alliance staff member Tom Simchak on his self-installed power meter (TED) and how he can track energy use in his home appliances -- including his wife’s hair dryer.


  • 1. Witty and/or Corny Title Related to Knowing How Much Energy Your Home Uses Whats Your Watt?!?! (sorry) Home Energy Monitors with Tom April 22, 2010

2. Three Ways I Play

  • The Energy Detective TED
    • Proprietary Footprints web browser-based dashboard
    • Standalone display
  • Viewing data with Googles PowerMeter
    • Same data, different portal
  • Pepcos online My Account
    • Based on a guy coming out and reading the normal old electricity meter on the side of our house

3. The Energy Detective

  • From Energy, Inc.
  • Not very cheap - $239.95 for my setup
  • A challenge to install, though can be DIY
    • I managed it myself, barely
  • Has its own interface software, but also compatible with Googles PowerMeter
  • One second data intervals
    • Nearly real-time

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Fridge from CEE Super-Efficient Home Appliance Initiative list 9. 10. 11. 12. Toaster Dehumidifier Fridge 13. 14. 15. Google PowerMeter

  • Public API, so in theory any clever IT engineer can make devices work with it
    • Two commercial stand-alone devices presently work with it
      • One in US (TED), one in Europe
    • Several utilities have smart meters that work with it
      • Teething problems, like providing old data
  • Still in development
    • Some quirks, some bugs
  • Ten-minute intervals

16. 17. 18. Budget function a bit odd Also at home vs. not at home Cant see refrigerator cycling on and off 19. 20. Pepcos Online Tools

  • Based on regular meter-reading data
    • Either guy comes once a month to read it or someone occasionally reads it and its otherwise extrapolated.
    • Basically a one-month interval
  • Limited functionality, buggy
  • Requires you to turn off some browser security settings
  • Some utilities provide more info
    • OPower, an Alliance Associate

21. 22. Lessons Learned

  • Resistance heating uses a lot of energy, but not often
    • Toaster, electric kettle (lots of tea), hair dryer, hair straighteners
    • We have natural gas water heater, air heater, and cooking which none of these systems measure
  • The refrigerator uses a lot of energy, though, in theory, a lot less than most
    • We already did what we can realistically do
  • The dehumidifier uses quite a lot
    • I need to clean gutters and regrade the yard

23. Lessons Learned

  • So have I taken any particular action based on this data?
    • Coming soon to!At Home With Tom!
  • High-tech guilt-trip?
  • Popular appeal?

24. Thank You!

  • Questions?
  • You know where to find me