I just returned from vacation and my home energy monitor is still working - collecting and displaying my home's energy consumption and cost data. At least the thing's reliable. I still can't use Google PowerMeter effectively (see my previous blog post) and that issue won't be addressed until next month when my web bridge device arrives in the mail. So what do I do now?
What I'd like to do is to set a goal of reducing my energy consumption by a certain amount - let's say 10% to start - and see if my home energy monitor can help me achieve it. However, without Google PowerMeter or some reasonable alternative set of analytics it's really not very easy. The first problem is that the data displayed on my monitor doesn't help me set a goal against the current baseline of usage and then give me feedback on whether or not I'm achieving it. I wish the designers would have thought of that. The second problem is that I'd really like to know which end-uses in my home are the biggest contributors to my energy consumption and some guidance on where to target my efforts. Is it the appliances? Air conditioning? Lighting? Or possibly all of our electronics? My home energy monitor isn't much help since it only monitors energy usage on a whole-house basis. Google PowerMeter won't help here either. What I really need are sensors for each end-use category or at least for multiple circuits. But that would take more money and effort. I tried explaining this to my family and they just rolled their eyes and expressed the opinion that this "smart" technology was really stupid (and that I should stop playing around with it and do something useful). Curses, foiled again!