Tag Archives: Renewable Energy

5 Products Safe and Sound Electric can install in your home that save money

Does an Energy Monitor Save You Money?

A monitor alone won’t save you money but changing your habits will. All that an energy monitor does is provide accurate electricity usage data to help you identify energy inefficiency, make informed decisions, and track your progress toward energy reduction goals.

An energy monitor is a wonderful way to discover power-hungry appliances that may be perniciously stealing energy. This may be a device that you forgot to turn off, an always-on appliance that consumes more electricity than you’d expect or something that isn’t operating properly. Such energy hogs can easily go unnoticed but will show up loud and clear with a monitor like Sense.

Sense reports its average user saves 9% on electric bills. Given the average monthly electric bill is $117, or $1,400 per year, an energy monitor saves the average homeowner $126 annually and will pay for itself in about two and a half years.

Sense Energy Monitor

The Sense Energy Monitor with Solar’s dashboard has built-in cost calculations to compare the energy produced and energy consumed in a side-by-side view, information that can minimize the amount of power to purchase. The longer it’s plugged in, the more this monitor learns, which helps the monitor determine patterns in energy use and find ways to improve.

The Sense monitor identifies individual appliances and offers information about specific devices: when they’re on, their efficiency, vampire tendencies, and more. The energy monitor sends notifications about potential issues, including solar system alerts. Sense fits right into the electrical panel and is best installed by a certified electrician. It then connects the home to a smartphone via the power of Wi-Fi.

Pros

  • Whole-house energy monitoring system
  • Tracks solar generation and output
  • Customizable notifications

Cons

  • No ethernet port option
  • Slow to identify devices

Emporia Energy Gen 2 Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor

Receive up-to-the-moment data about energy cost and usage anytime and anywhere with EMPORIA ENERGY’s Gen 2 monitor. The monitor comes with 16 sensors that clamp onto the main and individual circuits in the breaker box, which are best attached by a professional, though they come with DIY instructions.

The device monitors larger appliances attached to the individual circuits, but it integrates with smart plugs (not included) to monitor smaller appliances, set timers and schedules, and increase control through the EMPORIA ENERGY app. Solar homes can use this monitor to see how much excess energy goes back to the grid versus how much energy the home consumes. The app sends notifications based on the data it gathers, so users know which steps to take to conserve energy and control costs.

Pros

  • Eight sensors included, but eight more can be purchased
  • Solar generation net metering capabilities
  • Customizable push notifications

Cons

  • Data collected and stored on cloud, not your own device
  • Difficult to retrieve extra data if desired

Eyedro Home Energy Monitor

See the real-time costs of energy use with this easy-to-use home energy monitor from Eyedro. Its sensors clip into an electrical panel to feed information to an online dashboard using the provided Ethernet cable, but it also has a Wi-Fi option. Log in to the Eyedro website to see energy usage any time, even when away from the house.

As appliances turn on and off, the change to energy consumption displays as an update on a phone or computer screen. Through the dashboard, access monitoring reports and bill estimates and receive alerts if the power goes out at home and the system loses communication. Install this energy monitoring system into an electrical panel in as little as 15 minutes with the included instructions.

Pros

  • Ethernet connection option for reliable internet
  • Plenty of data options to review
  • No subscription fees

Cons

  • Only two monitoring clips
  • Poor installation can cause inaccurate readings

Nest Thermostat

Safe and Sound Electric can also help with that c wire issue you may be having.

The need to save money on heating and cooling cannot be overemphasized. There are diverse ways you can achieve this, and the Nest (the first smart thermostat to hit the market) can be immensely helpful. Also regarded as the “learning” thermostat, the Google Nest has many benefits and a few advantages. We will highlight the most important ones below:

Pros

  • It will save energy and money – Energy-efficiency is one of the biggest benefits smart thermostats like Nest offers. The Google Nest can significantly lower your energy consumption, and this means it can save you lots of money overall. It will also cut carbon emissions.
  • It makes controlling your AC easier – Google Nest makes controlling your AC a lot easier. It allows you to use your smartphone to control your home temperature, even when you are far from home.
  • It allows for multiple settings – Google Nest gives you more control over your AC setting because it is programmed with multiple settings. You can even control the temperature in individual rooms.
  • You can set it and forget it – As a “learning” thermostat, the Google Nest will make you become energy-conscious with minimal effort. When properly programmed, you can leave it to do all the job of temperature control.
  • It can be fun for techies – Smart thermostats are fun to use, and Google Nest is a lot of fun for techies. It will help you monitor and control your home temperature in a fun manner.

Cons

  • Compatibility issues – Google Nest may not be compatible with your existing AC unit, meaning you will need to invest in a new system. You may also need a C-wire installation to make it compatible.
  • The price tag – Google Nest is expensive. It is even much more expensive than other smart thermostats.

Leviton Main Panel

If you are considering a panel replacement job for your home, consider a Leviton main panel.  These panels feature breakers that not only monitor your energy consumption but also can be turned off from your smart phone (yes, we can also install the plexiglass see-through cover also)

Pros

  • Smart breakers are controllable remotely – Shut off a problem before it does damage, or on high energy use
  • Wonderful addition to a Leviton Main Panel – You don’t need to buy the Smart breakers at initial installation, you can purchase them later for a spiffy upgrade

Cons

  • The AFCI functionality to our knowledge is of the Current Transformer (CT) variety therefore on an older house with potential circuit collisions or multi-wire branch circuits a Leviton may not be the best choice.
  • Oil filled breaker debacle – The Leviton breakers were originally oil filled and made in Mexico.  They later switched to vacuum sealed thermo-magnetic trip breakers from China.  The Oil filled breakers truly made the technology of this panel ahead of the curve.  They are no longer available.
  • Price – The panel, and its breakers are more expensive than alternatives
  • Availability – Leviton as a brand is not carried at Lowes

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Portions of this article have been taken from bob vila Tried, True, Trustworthy Home Advice, EcoWatch, Waychoff’s Air Conditioning Clean. Smart. Professional.