Of all the common smart home myths, common smart home myths, common smart home myths, the one that just won’t die is the idea that smart home gadgets are just gimmicks. That might have been true five years ago, but it’s not. Many smart home gadgets today are extremely practical.
Energy monitoring is one area where this is especially true. By monitoring your energy use, you can identify all the ways you’re wasting money (and damaging the environment, if you care about those things). And because these are smart monitors, you can connect and view real-time energy usage reports on your mobile device or online.
Sure, energy monitoring devices can have a high initial cost, but the long-term savings easily make up for it. Interested? Here are some of the nifty gadgets for energy monitoring.
Individual Point Monitoring.
1. WeMo Insight Smart Plug.
The WeMo Insight Smart Plug is literally a portable outlet that plugs into a regular outlet. You then plug any device into the Insight, and the Insight will monitor how much power that device uses – lamps, coffee makers, heaters, TVs, or any other device you want.
Insight connects to the WeMo mobile app to provide real-time energy usage reports. You can also control Insight from the app, turning it on or off remotely from anywhere. It’s a little pricey, especially if you want more than one, but elegant enough to improve your daily life
2. TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug.
The TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug is pretty much the same as the WeMo Insight Smart Plug: an outlet that plugs into a regular outlet. Similarly, it comes with a mobile app that you can use to view power usage reports and remotely turn devices on/off. It’s cheaper than Insight, but unfortunately more.
Just make sure you get the Wi-Fi Plug with energy monitoring ! TP-Link makes other models in this line, including the regular Wi-Fi Plug and Wi-Fi Plug Mini, which do not monitor the energy used by the connected device.
3. WiOn Smart Mains Filter
If you want more value for money, the WiOn Smart Surge Protector should be at the top of your list. Instead of paying for one outlet, you get six outlets per lane. Four of the outlets are individually controlled through the WiOn mobile app, while the other two outlets are always on. No smart hub required!
But perhaps most notable is that it’s not just an extension cord, it’s a surge protector. If you don’t know why this is important, check out our article on why you need a Shortcut, it protects connected devices from – you guessed it – power surges!
4. Neurio W1-HEM Energy Monitor
The Neurio W1-HEM Energy Monitor is a small device that plugs into the breaker panel in your home. It monitors detailed information, such as when certain devices start and stop and how much energy they actually use. This is very useful for detecting energy leaks around your home.
With the Neurio mobile app, you can see how energy is being used in real time. (Unfortunately, the Appliance View feature is a paid upgrade.) Over time, it will tell you tips on how to save even more energy. And you can even use Neurio to notify you when a certain device or appliance is on or off.
To learn more about how Neurio Energy Monitor works, check out our article on how smart energy monitors can really save you money.
5. Sense Energy Monitor.
The Sense Energy Monitor plugs into the breaker panel in your home and “listens” to all the electrical devices in your home to “understand” where your energy consumption is going. It tracks the power for each device/device and allows you to view usage in the Sense mobile app.
No smart hub required! As of this writing, it can’t detect every device , but it can identify most of them and continues to improve over time. If you have solar power in your home, Sense can also measure solar power production with a $50 update.
6. CURB energy monitoring system
The CURB energy monitor is similar to the above systems: connect to the breaker panel and measure your energy consumption. But it has some additional qualities that the others don’t have.
CURB wants to be a “mint for energy” (that is, a Mint for tracking personal finances). Not only does it help you pinpoint big leaks and wasted energy, not only can you monitor your electricity remotely, but you can even set up “energy budgets” for all the different energy connections in your home. You set it up once, and CURB identifies each device/device on its own.
7. Brultech GreenEye Monitor
Brultech GreenEye Monitor is another home device that connects to the breaker panel, can monitor up to 32 individual channels if needed and displays usage statistics via a mobile app. With the commercial version, the Brultech GEM can even monitor multi-family houses.
One unique aspect is that the Brultech GEM has four pulse output readout inputs, which means it can connect to water, gas and motion detection systems. It also has an input to read certain types of temperature sensors.