I am a homeowner living in Orlando, Florida and I needed a way to monitor my energy usage so I purchased Home Hub / Elite Combo from Amazon that took all the guess work out of finding my energy consumption devices.
My house was built in 1993 and the typical insulation and building standards that were in place at that time were used. I as probably many home owners think that the house was built with energy efficiency in mind but knowing what I now know, that was very far from the truth. Living in Florida and enduring the summer heat causes the air conditioning unit to run almost constantly. In July of last year, 2013, my electric bill soared to $600. My friends told me that was way too high so I decided it was time to do something about this. But what do I do. I needed to analyze my energy usage and determine exactly what was causing the problem. I realized I was blind and the only tool I had was my electric bill and the meter outside. So I started to research ways to check energy usage in real time.
I came across the Efergy Home Hub / Elite Combo on Amazon and at first thought the price was a bit high but hoped that the cost of the device would pay for itself in time. Little did I know that it would pay for itself in a month.
I ordered the device and was surprised at how easy it was to install. I just opened the main power box outside and clamped the clamps around the main wires coming into the house. That was all I had to do outside. Then I powered up the unit and it was analyzing my power in real time. That was incredible. It took me about two hours to turn off every breaker one by one and determine what power consumption each breaker was using in real time. I was amazed at what I found. When I unplugged every device that was associated with a breaker and expecting zero on the monitor, I found more energy consumption and more electrical devices plugged in. I kept unplugging devices that were never used and after the two hours had a stack of devices that were plugged in that were never used. This was the first step in my quest to cut power.
With this device I found my main energy users were my A/C, pool pump, washer and dryer and water heater. One by one I have either optimized these or replaced them. I now have a home that is using less than half of what was being used previously with one electric bill as low as $120. My home is 2,950 square feet. Here is what I have done using this device to bring my power consumption down.
· Optimized my A/C unit and blown in more insulation in the attic to make the A/C more efficient
· Replaced my pool pump with a variable speed pump – this was huge.
· Replaced my water heater with a high efficiency model
· Replaced almost all my light bulbs in the house with LEDs
· Unplugged all unused devices
· Anything else I could find
This monitoring device was indispensable in locating the energy consuming items in my house and being able to find solutions. I am not sure what I would have done without it.