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Which Energy Monitoring Device is Right For You?

By Mary Ripley on  October 30, 2017

Utility bills can often be the unpredictable wild card that prevents you from staying on budget or saving money. But with today's technology, monitoring your energy consumption is much easier. Using an energy monitoring device, you can easily measure how much electricity an appliance is actually drawing.

There's no more guessing: a) what appliances are using the most energy b) the cost of electricity per monitored appliance  With many options of devices to chose from, it can be challenging to find which one best fits your needs. That's why we did the work for you! We tested 3 popular and affordable energy use monitors, and weighed the pros and cons of each device. Costing no more than $40.00, the price points are an attractive feature. Additionally, two of the three devices we tested have smart plug capabilities. This allows you to control the device, as well as the appliance it is plugged into, through a smartphone/tablet app. The third device doesn't require Wi-Fi capabilities, being perfect for individuals who are uncomfortable with smart technology.  We put these energy monitors to the test by individually plugging the devices into a compact, upright freezer, over a 48 hour time period. The results showed similar ranges of energy consumption from each device. However, we discovered these energy monitors drastically differ in their capabilities. 

Energy Monitor Test #1:  

The Kill-A-Watt EZ  is quick and easy to use, as well as cost effective! Just $26.00 and doesn't require Wi-Fi capabilities, this simple device has the capacity to track your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly energy consumption. The controls are easy to use, the instructions are digestible, and the set-up is straightforward. This is also the only device that comes in with a built-in backup battery, and has accuracy within .2% of actual consumption costs.  This device requires you know the cost of kilowatt per hour (kWh), which can be found on your current energy bill statement. Simply plug in the cost of kWh, then plug in your desired appliance, and the Kill-A-Watt EZ does the rest!

               

Results: 

An asset we loved about the Kill-A-Watt EZ is that it is the only device we tested that allows you to view yearly total energy consumption! This device holds true to it's specs, and measures energy consumption in a hassle-free way. As stated above, the Kill-A-Watt EZ doesn't rely on Wi-Fi technology, thus you must rely on the display to read the information. This was the biggest problem with the device. There is no back-light in the display, so the numbers can be difficult to read. We discovered this challenge because most outlets are located in poorly lit spaces and low to the ground. Using a flashlight can resolve this issue, helping you to see the screen. However, without extra light sources, the Kill-A-Watt EZ can be difficult to read. Another down-side is the large size of this device, which eliminates any possibility of being able to use the other socket in an outlet. However, if you're looking for a simple way to log energy consumption, and you don't want to mess with downloading an app, the Kill-A-Watt EZ is the best option for you! 

Stay tuned this week to hear the results of the other two devices, and have a chance to win your own energy monitor!  For energy-saving tips and new ways to save, sign up for myNOPEC.  Plus, you can earn rewards points to use use on energy-saving devices in the myNOPEC rewards store.

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