The Energy Detective is a device that lets you monitor the electric usage of your home. I bought one to track the energy usage of my dome-home and windmill. I was very surprised to find so much power in such a small device. According to the manufacturer of The Energy Detective (TED), just knowing what your house is doing and taking small steps to avoid using so much will drop your power bill 13% on average.
I have a windmill installed on the top of my dome-home, but I wanted to know exactly what I should do to track the amount of energy I was producing. I emailed the gentleman from whom I bought the generator and he referred me to TED.
Since I’m such a techie, this device is right up my alley! It monitors the electrical usage from the house, then factors in the amount of generation that I have done. But that’s just the start. The device also has a small web server that allows you to view this data from any device, such as laptop, iPhone, etc. I was even able to open a port in my router and see what my house was doing no matter where I was.
One of TED’s features is load profiling. It allows you to teach the device to monitor the energy each particular device in your house uses. Then it can tell when that device is on or off. This helps you learn which devices are costing you the most, so you can find ways to reduce that need.
I have programed my hot water heater into TED and it was very enlightening. I have always been a little concerned that my kids taking showers all night were costing me dearly. Come to find out that the water heater is not as big a deal as I once thought. I was planning on putting some kind of solar water heater on top of the house, but now I can see that it would cost me more than it would save. That’s the kind of knowledge that can save you money.
Another feature of TED is that it can send your data to Google for tracking. Google sends me an email every week that describes my energy usage for the week. I can also use its dashboard widgets to see it every day.
I was surprised to find out how much differently my wife and I do things around the house. I’m talking about little things that save us money: hanging blankets outside to dry on weekends, or turning off lights more often.
I now know that paying attention to power usage makes you think about it more. I now KNOW what my house is doing and I like that.