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Thread: Efergy Elite electrical monitor- this thing is really cool and will save me some $

  1. #1
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    Efergy Elite electrical monitor- this thing is really cool and will save me some $

    I found this little gem yesterday and decided to try it out. It's a monitor that hooks up to your incoming line from your electrical meter, and it measures how many kWh you use real-time, and you can input your $/kWh and it tells real-time your expected daily spend at current level of use.

    https://efergy.com/electricity-monit...elite-classic/

    It was a gamble, but I actually got this at a place that sells close-out merchandise, so I only paid $30 instead of the normal $100+. After using it, however, I would gladly pay $100 for this thing. I live in the land of expensive electricity, so for me just turning off a fan is saving me about $0.75 per day. Here are some interesting things I found:
    • A regular toaster puts out HUGE amounts of power. I expected it, but it was more than I expected
    • I have only two rooms left without LED's- the kitchen, and a closet- those have halogen bulbs. Three halogen bulbs are costing me $0.70 per day (*assuming I ran them all day, which of course I don't, but this is easier for me to visualize than KwH.)
    • There is a big difference in energy use from one ceiling fan to another. One is double the energy use of the other.
    • My A/C would cost me nearly $25 a day, which was no surprise- we already knew that.


    These figures are at $0.38/kWh, which is actually our base rate without fuel surcharge and other add-on charges. With all those, we pay closer to about $0.45/kWh, but I used $0.38 so I can compare to the base rate which doesn't fluctuate. I have strong suspicions about my bill because after they installed a smart meter, my power use supposedly doubled. It's not just me- LOTS of people on island are seeing this, and we strongly suspect the power company is cheating us.

    This thing allows you to set any voltage- not sure the max, but at least to 240V. It works with single or double leg power input. It comes with two pickups that clamp to your incoming wire(s). I had two wires, so I used both. This one is single phase, but they do have one that works with 3 phase. It lets you set all sorts of variables- you set your own $/kWh, and you can also set a variable rate if you live where they charge a different rate for day/night use. You set the date, time, voltage, rate, number of rates you want to monitor, and even an alarm that goes off if you use over whatever kWh you set it at. (I am not using that function.) As an added bonus, it has the temperature and humidity, which seems to be pretty accurate. (I'm a weather geek, so I track these things daily.)

    I have no affiliation with this company- I just think it's a really cool tool and thought I'd pass it on. I can turn on a light and real-time see the power usage and estimated cost per month or hour. By using this, we have figured out that we can turn off certain fans and save quite a bit. This is also going to help me figure out my power needs for the solar array that is in my near future.

    elite-persp-render-2017.jpg

  2. #2
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    That's interesting Malcolm. What I cannot seem to figure out from the documentation is how to properly install this on the 240v service from a meter in the US where there are two hots. Second sensor required and are you saying two are included with the one you bought? The offers on their web site only show a single sensor. Your thoughts?
    --

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  3. #3
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    Back in the 70's we built a house for a fellow that invented an energy mizer it would shut down high use items when you needed to use a more important item. like if you tried to dry clothes while using the oven. My Sister in law has one now but we no longer are on a load meter. Back then I would always watch what I was running to keep the load low.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That's interesting Malcolm. What I cannot seem to figure out from the documentation is how to properly install this on the 240v service from a meter in the US where there are two hots. Second sensor required and are you saying two are included with the one you bought? The offers on their web site only show a single sensor. Your thoughts?
    This one appears to be the US Model, and it came with two sensors, so you hook one on each leg. You do have to set the voltage, but it knows that you have two sensors hooked up.

    Now this does bring up an interesting thought- I put 120 as the voltage because other than my A/C, that's what I'm using- I wonder if I should have said 240 since that's how it comes in to the panel? Hmmm. Gotta go read up on that.

  5. #5
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    Each leg is 120v with 240v potential between them so I suspect you have it setup correctly. Their website didn't mention a US version, but it makes sense that there would be two sensors accordingly for US use.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    There is also a plug-in energy monitor called Kill A Watt that monitors power used by a standard 120V plug. It runs about US$25 and is designed for US power plugs. It measures the voltage and current to give a true kWh measurement.

    It is much easier to hook up since you don't have to mess around inside the power panel. Not sure if there is a version that works on the island.
    Steve

  7. #7
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    When they installed a smart meter at the house I lost any way to see how much power was being used. There is nothing smart about this meter other then the radio signal reader ability. My Mom's older meter is much smarter it shows voltage and little bar graph for power being used.
    Bill D.

  8. #8
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    When we installed solar all our meters were changed to new smart meters and all of a sudden our low tarriff hot water bill dropped so I can only assume that the meter was faulty. At the same time the company whose solar system we used (Fronius) supplied what they call a smart meter which monitors solar production, house consumption, export to the grid etc. This meter is networked into the internet and we can see and monitor what is going on anytime we want, get reports etc all for a few hundred dollars. it absolutely amazed me lie Malcolm how visible an appliance like a toaster, hair dryer etc is when it gets turned on and we have tuned our use to be when the solar is producing such as washing and ironing, running the pool filter etc.
    Chris

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Peterson View Post
    There is also a plug-in energy monitor called Kill A Watt that monitors power used by a standard 120V plug. It runs about US$25 and is designed for US power plugs. It measures the voltage and current to give a true kWh measurement.

    It is much easier to hook up since you don't have to mess around inside the power panel. Not sure if there is a version that works on the island.
    I've had one of those for years. My garage is a bit marginal on power, but I have power strips attached to the second plug on the washer and dryer outlets so I can manage the loads, e.g. putting the saw and dust collector on different breakers. (It's not like doing laundry and making sawdust at the same time is ever going to happen.) So it's very handy for determining current draw, at least in steady state...I just wish it had a peak-load grabber function, as it doesn't react quickly enough to read transient/startup loads.
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  10. #10
    In most locations, you can install your on meter in series with power companies meter. Hialeah Meter sells refurbished meters. When local utility wanted over $30 a month to have a meter for well pump, that was only using $2.50 of electricity per month, I told them to remove meter. Because pump is fed from rental, I installed a meter on feed from panel on rental. This way, each month, I know what renter is owed for electricity to run pump. Pump furnishes rental, neighbor, my house and church next door, so renter shouldn't have to pay for the power to run it.

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