We’ve reviewed some of our favorite items from the TerraPass green store ourselves. But increasingly our readers are outdoing us. Tom Harrison published a review of the PowerCost Home Energy Monitor on his blog fivepercent.us. With Tom’s permission, here are some highlights:
The sensor attached to Tom’s digital meter
It also works with older mechanical meters
The display includes cost-per-hour information
[It] installed easily in about 20 minutes. It has a device designed to be strapped around the electric meter, and it actually reads the meter. It can work with most common meters, even the old spinning-dial ones. Instructions were good, and there’s a special book for each different meter kind.
The meter-reader part has a wireless transmitter that sends a signal to the display part that you put inside your house. You set the date and time, and also, using a current electrical bill, enter the amount you pay for a kilowatt-hour of electricity, which is usually right on the bill. That’s all.
It shows your electrical consumption in dollars and cents on a little display you can put where you like. Your electrical use is no longer “out of sight, out of mind”.
And boy does it work!
I bought one and installed it, and, having received our first electricity bill since then, can confidently say that it will pay for itself in less than a year. Maybe a lot faster than that!
When things are mostly quiet, we still use about 5 or 6 cents per hour — a dollar a day. When we’re up and about, it’s usually around $0.12 per hour; lights are on, the refrigerator is running, the computer or TV is on, and so on.
But when I look down and see $1.22 per hour, I know the dryer is on. Holy cow!
Read Tom’s full review, together with some other great tips on saving energy at fivepercent.us.