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Monitor Your Energy Use – Help the Environment

By Mary Ripley on  July 19, 2018

We all know there are things that harm the environment. Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) slowly break down our ozone. Deforestation contributes to global warming. Pollution harms our land and wildlife. But did you also know that you may be hurting the environment by being an energy hog at home?

Energy and the effect on our world

The amount of energy we consume can have detrimental effects on our world. All forms of electricity produce waste of some sort. Just for example, the natural gas used to heat your home releases carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. And these gases build up and get trapped in Earth’s atmosphere, generating air pollution and smog. It’s important we conserve energy by keeping track of its usage to help our environment stay as healthy as possible. But that seems like an almost impossible task, right?

The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) provides many tools to help NOPEC customers reduce their energy usage.  Such as the interactive Home Sweet Energy-Saving Home Tip House (shown below) and myNOPEC, a free resource that helps keep track of your energy usage and provides suggestions to conserve energy and save on your energy bills.

NOPEC Interactive Tip House

When keeping track of your energy usage at home, the goal should always be to use the least amount of energy possible without severely impacting your daily life. To achieve this, you could always conduct controlled tests on your various electrical devices while checking your meter for any power draws. Of course, this is incredibly time-consuming. Luckily for us, technology is constantly changing and there are always new and advanced ways to monitor our energy use at home.

Devices to monitor your home energy use

There are several devices on the market that can help you keep track of your energy use that don’t cost much money and there are others that are much more expensive. Choosing the right one depends on your needs and affordability for you.

Products like the Kill-A-Watt plug into individual electric devices to assess their efficiency, calculate electric expense over a specific time and check the quality of your electricity. It’s very affordable and particularly useful if you suspect a certain appliance is not as efficient as you’d like it to be. It does only detect one appliance at a time, so it might not be the best if you’re looking for a whole house electrical evaluation.

There are also more expensive alternatives that monitor different aspects of your home electrical grid. The PowerCost Monitor, for example, lets you keep track of your energy use in real time. It lets you know when you’re using the most energy throughout the day and night, to help you troubleshoot any problem areas. On the much higher end, a CURB Home Energy Monitoring System attaches to your breaker box and again provides real-time home energy monitoring. However, it also has full app capability that shows individual appliance energy consumption for detailed reports. Within the app, it can also control some smart devices.

Additional energy-monitoring resources

If you’re just looking to get an overall, basic view of your energy consumption, there are apps designed to help you keep track of your energy use and costs. Energy Cost Calculator lets you calculate the cost of specific electronic devices throughout a time period. The Department of Energy set up a web page that lists several home energy-conserving idea source apps that are very helpful for keeping track of your energy consumption and calculating energy costs.

And, of course, you can track your energy usage and analyze past energy usage through your myNOPEC account. Just fill out your home profile in the My Property tab and then link your energy accounts in the myNOPEC settings. This also gives you the opportunity to earn rewards points to use in the myNOPEC Rewards Store as you lower your energy usage.

Mr. NOPEC using myNOPEC on computer

So if you’re serious about monitoring your energy use to help our environment stay as healthy as possible, now is the time to do something about it. Our future and our children’s future depends on the actions we take today to make a better tomorrow.

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