According to a report, 20% of people in the US struggle to pay their electricity bills. Additionally, 18% of Americans maintained that their homes are set at an unhealthy temperature just to keep utility bills down. A much more effective and safe way to reduce electric bills is to install a wireless energy monitor. This article will take you through all you need to know about a wireless energy monitor for smart meters.
Wireless Energy Monitor for Smart Meters – What Does It Do?
Whenever you get your electricity bill, you are essentially receiving a basic form of the energy monitoring report. While most residential and commercial property owners look straight for the bill amount they’ll have to pay for the month, a utility bill tells you much more than that.
Most electricity providers include information such as your monthly energy consumption for the past 6 or 12 months, any fluctuations in energy prices, and your energy consumption for the month the bill is being charged for in the electric bill. An energy monitoring system for smart meters takes it a step further by evaluating your property’s energy consumption in much more detail and frequency.
A wireless energy monitoring system for smart meters will connect to your property’s smart meter and track the minute-to-minute trends in the energy consumption of your property. Such systems serve as a channel of communication for property owners, devices, appliances, and occasionally, the utility company.
There are various types of energy monitoring systems available in the market. Despite this, there is one thing that is common in almost all of them, which is that almost all of them allow the property owner to individually track the energy consumption of each of their appliances and devices.
Wireless energy monitoring systems make the process even easier by simply connecting to your smartphone or other smart devices over the Wi-Fi network and providing you with instant reports and updates regarding the energy consumption in your property.
These systems can also provide significant data to property owners, allowing them to track how they use energy monthly, weekly, or even daily. This data can prove to be immensely helpful in identifying practices and habits that contribute to inflated electric bills. For instance, your wireless smart monitoring system can make you aware of instances when the lights in your property have been left turned on, allowing you to eliminate this such instances of superfluous energy consumption.
Some energy monitors go so far as to assess energy consumption trends and patterns in order to make energy-saving recommendations, such as switching to a more efficient refrigerator or unplugging a certain appliance. Having such a helpful tool available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will assist you, your family, employees, and co-workers in making better decisions and lowering energy consumption.
Benefits of Employing Wireless Energy Monitors
Reduces the Operating Cost of a Property
The trimming down of operational expenditures such as lighting, heating, and cooling, is one of the key advantages of installing a wireless energy monitor on your property. Wireless energy monitoring systems help you track your energy consumption over time and save the data so you can always view the history of your property’s energy performance and make calculated cost estimations for future usage.
Additionally, you can use the data provided by your system to cut back on unnecessary use of energy, thereby reducing the operational expense of your facility. According to the researchers at MIT, nearly 30% of the entire energy consumption of commercial buildings goes to waste.
These savings become even more prominent for massive commercial buildings that have an uncountable number of appliances they use on a daily basis. In fact, according to research, buildings can reduce their expenses anywhere from 10% to 30%.
Reduced operational cost directly translates to higher profitability for the business. Furthermore, the amount you save on your electric bills can be dedicated to your marketing and R&D departments in order to improve the quality and brand image of your product or services.
Helps Reduce Carbon Footprint
A substantial amount of carbon emissions hails from the energy sector trying to meet the country’s rising energy demands. In 2020, the energy sector released a total of 1.55 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is roughly equal to 0.85lbs of carbon dioxide for each kWh of energy you consume.
Commercial and residential buildings account for a major portion of the energy demand. To put it into perspective, a study shows that commercial buildings consume nearly 20% of all the energy produced in the US. This means that if we were able to reduce the energy consumption of commercial and residential properties, we would essentially be reducing the emission of carbon dioxide from power plants due to a decrease in the energy demand.
Offers a Quick Return on Investment (ROI)
As discussed above, wireless energy monitoring systems usually come with out-of-the-factory energy-saving features such as recommending appliance upgrades. Additionally, you can use energy monitoring systems to track your energy usage during the on-peak hours when the cost of energy is at its highest during the day. This will help you optimize your energy consumption to be lowest during peak hours, as well as identify and eliminate major and minor energy wastages.
These savings on your utility bills can be substantial enough to recover the cost of the system in just a few years. Of course, the amount you save will vary from property to property. For instance, a massive energy-draining commercial building with reckless energy usage will observe a more prominent reduction in its expenses compared to an average residential property.
Allows Remote Accessibility
One of the most significant advantages of wireless energy monitoring systems is that they allow you to track your property’s energy usage on the go using your smartphone. This means that regardless of where you are, you can always remain up-to-date with the energy consumption trends in your property.
And if you observe that a particular appliance has been left turned on, you can easily turn it off using smart controls. The best part is that you will never have to worry about mistakenly leaving the lights or any other appliance on when heading out.
Improved Brand Image and Property Value
An overlooked yet important advantage of energy monitoring systems is that they can help improve your brand image. Having a wireless energy monitor for smart meters can help you push the message that your business is a keen advocate of preserving the health of the environment and tackling global warming by reducing carbon emissions.
This will speak well for your brand image to potential investors, shareholders, and other key figures in the business. Additionally, this can also help you draw in environmentally-conscious clients and customers. Furthermore, you can also earn the support and trust of the environmentalist communities around the world.
The benefits of making this move aren’t limited to only large-scale businesses. More and more people are becoming determined to take their business to companies that are doing their part in protecting and restoring the planet. Therefore, even small and moderately sized businesses can take benefit from this. According to the findings of a report, businesses and companies that take eco-friendly measures are observed to see an average growth of 15%.
5 Things You Should Know When Buying a Wireless Energy Monitor for Smart Meters
Ease of Installation
Many companies claim their energy monitoring systems support easy installation and even boast that the product is suitable for DIY installation. However, this is often not the case. More often than not, availing the services of a licensed electrician will be a much wiser decision. Even more so for multi-family rental properties, where you need to interconnect various different circuits.
The difficulty of installation of an energy monitoring system is often a good indicator of the sophistication of the system. High-quality systems offer better functionalities but bear a heftier price tag. However, the higher system and installation cost is quite worth it, as it provides you the assurance that your energy monitoring system will be up and working promptly and without the risk of future issues.
Energy Monitoring Systems Use Frequency to Recognize Appliances
When an appliance is in use, it emits a distinct electrical frequency. Higher-end monitoring systems can detect that frequency and use it to identify which device is being utilized.
However, this isn’t an exact science. Even the most sophisticated monitoring systems are prone to misidentifying appliances, particularly when dealing with numerous appliances that function on nearly identical frequencies. Consider the example of your curling iron and hairdryer, the two devices usually operate on similar frequencies, and therefore, the monitor may not be able to tell the difference between them.
Additionally, there are systems that do not detect devices that consume less than 30 watts of power. This implies that while most power-hungry devices will be factored in, lesser essentials such as your phone charger will not. Therefore, when you look for a wireless energy monitoring system for smart meters, make sure that the system has the capability to pick up on devices that use less than 30 watts of power.
Make Sure the System Is Adequate Enough to Factor in Your HVAC
Displaying and storing energy consumption analytics for appliances requires computational power and storage capacity: the greater your energy consumption, the more powerful of a system you’ll need. An inadequate system, while it may be able to account for your HVAC, it may not be able to provide you with the detailed enough analysis you need to optimize your HVAC for more efficient usage.
This is important because the HVAC system of a building is perhaps its largest power-consuming appliance. Therefore, if your goal is to cut back on energy wastage, the energy consumption trend of your HVAC system is the first thing you should look at. You might be surprised to learn that the cooling and heating of a property are responsible for approximately 40% of its yearly energy consumption.
Wireless Energy Monitor Systems Come with Solar Compatibility
If you have a solar panel system in your home, you might want to look for a system that can incorporate data from your solar panels into its analytic reports. This will allow you to evaluate the performance of your solar system in a simple and effective manner.
For instance, solar compatibility may be able to give you an accurate idea of how much energy your solar panels are generating and how that energy is being utilized. There is a rare chance that you might even be able to determine how much money your solar panels are saving through your monitoring device.
Choose the Right Power Source
You may find it ironic that you have to worry about powering a device whose sole purpose is to save you power, but unfortunately, there’s no way around it. Some wireless energy monitoring systems are battery-powered, while others come with a plug-in feature. Battery-operated systems are typically less expensive and quicker to install, but then they require the occasional battery replacement.
Which among the two would serve you better depends entirely on your requirements. A battery-powered system may suffice for an average home. However, a plug-in option would be better for a large commercial building.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Can I Monitor Energy Consumption Using a Wireless Energy Monitor for Smart Meters?
Most wireless energy monitoring systems provide you with real-time monitoring feature via a desktop system or a smart device app. Downloading the app on your smartphone allows for remote accessibility as well. You can use this to track your property’s energy usage and also to identify if any appliance shows abnormal power consumption.
What Uses the Most Energy in the House?
HVAC systems are hands down the most power-draining appliance in any home or commercial building, making up approximately 40% of your annual electric bill. Other high-consumption devices include the refrigerator, washer and dryer, electric ovens, and dishwashers.
Can Unplugging Devices Save Energy?
The US Department of Energy has found that unplugging appliances that are not in use can save you up to 10% on your monthly bill.
How Much Energy Does My Home Use?
According to The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average electricity consumption for a homeowner in the US is around 914 kWh per month.
Can I View My Energy Usage of Previous Days?
Energy monitors save previous data to help you get a better understanding of your daily energy usage and find cost-effective ways to reduce it. Having said that, yes, you can view prior days’ energy consumption statistics.
Installing a wireless energy monitor for smart meters is an incredibly effective way to cut down your energy wastage and hence, your utility bill. In addition to this, it offers many other advantages, rendering it a no-brainer for homeowners and commercial property owners.
The team at Solar Medix are ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote. Feel free to call us at 732-785-4814 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.