Understanding the energy balance between your consumption and your electricity generation is not always easy.
At the end of the quarter you will receive an energy bill with an amount to pay and an amount of energy consumption in kWh, but you probably won’t find any other information that will help you understand what’s going on with your PV system and energy consumption.
Based on these facts, how does a regular homeowner find the best way to save energy? Which are the appliances that are consuming more power across the day? Which are unnecessary?
And how can you find patterns of consumption that will help you organise your schedule to match solar generation across the day?
The best way to answer these questions is to install a home energy monitoring device.
There are many available in the market, but let’s examine some of the most interesting options that you can consider for your home and your solar system.
What are the Benefits of an Energy Monitor?
The main advantage of the energy monitor is that the device is able to identify the appliances that your home is using across the day.
This allows you to choose the best time to use the most power-consuming appliances, in some cases, according to Time of Use rates.
Besides, with home energy monitors you can also track the cost of your electricity consumption over time.
Thanks to this feature you won’t have to wait until the end of the month to have an idea of how much money you are spending on energy and it will allow you to detect failures or irregular expenses in time.
These two advantages are related to increasing the energy efficiency of your home. Having a tool to help you understand how to improve your energy efficiency is always useful.
What are Some of the Top Home Energy Monitoring Devices?
One of the most simple and yet efficient home energy monitoring devices is the Neurio product.
As with other home energy devices, Neurio allows you to find energy hogs and save money every month by increasing the energy efficiency of your house.
Neurio can be installed in the home’s main electricity panel by simply attaching the current transformers to the main supply cable of the house.
Moreover, Neurio is connected to your Wi-Fi network, sharing information with your smartphone to visualise all your energy consumption in real time.
You can instantly interact with the appliances at your home and see on the mobile app how they affect the electricity consumption, while at the same time estimating the costs that will result at the end of the month.
The smart device will also show you some saving tips according to your specific appliances and patterns of consumption to reduce the cost of the energy bill.
From the Neurio app you can also manage to sell electricity from energy storage devices, as well as managing solar inverters and batteries.
These features have proven to reduce the payback period of the solar system by 30%.
Sense energy monitor is probably the top product available in the market and the reason for this lies in its own brand name.
Most energy home monitors are able to easily detect loads that consume large amounts of power per hour such as dryers, boilers or the electric stove.
Even good energy monitors such as Neurio have a limited detection feature of appliances since the device does not recognise appliances with less than 400W of consumption.
However, the premium feature of Sense is that it can identify appliances that consume as little power as a single lamp.
You will be notified via email every time Sense identifies a new appliance and it will learn to distinguish it the more you use it.
Sense detection feature is so advanced that you will be able to identify appliances that consume as little as 10 watts per hour.
As with Neurio, you are able to visualise the consumption features via the Sense app for Android or iOS.
There it will show you individual items and devices to accurately help you understand the usage time of each one, as well as periods of high and low activity.
Solar energy can also be coupled with Sense to measure generation and consumption in an accurate way.
As you can see, home energy monitoring devices are some of the most useful products that you can have in your house.
These allow you to efficiently manage the appliances of your home and they are a valuable tool that can be used to improve the energy efficiency of your house.
If you have a solar power system you should monitor the energy production and consumption of the PV system every once in a while to make sure that the solar array and the battery (if installed) is working properly.
The best way to do it is installing a home energy monitoring device.
Before installing a home energy monitoring device for solar, make sure that the product supports PV technology, as not all of them have the features available to include solar energy monitoring.
If you want to see how much solar or battery storage could save you over the next 5 years, then take our solar saving calculator quiz below!
Or talk to an Instyle Solar expert about the best solutions for home energy storage or PV-panels.
Otherwise, head back to the solar blog to find even more great educational content.
Photo credit: Neurio, Sense