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What Is a Wireless Electricity Monitor?

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  • Written By: Erika C.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
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A wireless electricity monitor is a device used to monitor electricity consumption. In a typical wireless electricity monitor configuration, a unit that measures energy output is connected to the electricity meter in a home meter box, and that unit transmits information about energy consumption wirelessly to a display unit. The display unit shows the amount of power being used, the cost of the power and the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the electricity being consumed. Some units also display other information such as ambient temperature and humidity.

Wireless electricity monitors are easier to use than wired electricity monitors because they allow users to place the display unit anywhere in their homes. This way, users can frequently check the amount of energy being used without having to walk to a meter or run wires through their homes. Wireless electricity monitors are usually battery-operated, though some units have direct current (DC) adapters that enable them to be plugged into wall power.

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Most people who use a wireless electricity monitor do so to reduce energy consumption. Having a constant visual reminder of how much energy is being used at any given time, how much the energy costs and how much of an effect the energy use has on the environment can help people stay mindful of their energy use and remind them to turn off appliances when they aren’t using them. The monitors can also be used to figure out how much energy particular machines and appliances are consuming so users can determine how they can best reduce their energy use.

Sometimes, a wireless electricity monitor only shows how much energy is currently being used, but many wireless electricity monitors also store usage data and enable users to review their daily, weekly and monthly energy use. This tracking ability can help users review how they’re using electricity, stay motivated to continue using less electricity and develop strategies for reducing consumption. A wireless electricity monitor is not very expensive, and many users say they recoup the cost of the monitor in just a month or two by using less energy.

Some wireless electricity monitors also have the ability to connect to a personal computer. The transmitter unit can stream energy usage data to a device connected to the computer, usually through a universal serial bus (USB) port. Computer software that comes with the data receiver typically enables detailed electricity tracking and reporting.

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anon315889
Post 4

In the my country, inefficiency comes at a cost. The electricity meter is only read on a two month basis, and they estimate (guess) the amount you use if they don't read the meters. A lot of times they bill you more than you have used. The power meter is in box which is locked to prevent damage -- forget about accessibility.

So even if you use a little power to run the power meter, it is still worth it, give you a starting point as to contest to a high or incorrect meter reading with the municipality.

hamje32
Post 3

@Charred - It’s nice that you can hook up the electricity usage monitor to your computer and trend over days, weeks and months. But the question is what does it do to your electricity usage habits?

I maintain that in the final analysis you will probably do the same things you would have done without the monitor if you were just conscientious about not wasting electricity.

That means you would turn off unused devices and lights and make sure not to use too much air condition or heating. In other words, you would probably do the stuff they always tell you to do; in this case you would just see the impact of your usage in actual interval reports.

Charred
Post 2

@SkyWhisperer - I can appreciate why this kind of electric usage monitor would be battery monitored. I think that’s a given. I don’t understand why they have some units that are wall powered!

If it’s powered by AC, then it’s using electricity. That means that it’s using electricity in the process of telling you how much electricity that you’re using. The irony seems obvious.

I realize it’s probably only tapping a little bit of juice in the process, but it still seems kind of funny.

SkyWhisperer
Post 1

Now this is just the gadget I am looking for, something that will tell me exactly how much electricity I am using so that I can get a handle on my electricity consumption.

My friends jokingly call this a kill a watt monitor, because it’s a good way to “kill a watt” of electricity. The only thing I’ve done thus far to manage my electricity consumption is to enroll in an average monthly energy usage program with the electric company.

They basically take the monthly usage over the course of a year and then bill me an average rate each month, instead of fluctuating rates like you would have in summer and winter months. The program is okay but I would rather take control of determining what my usage will be, and this electric consumption monitor is just what I need I think.

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