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Home Energy Monitors & Energy Management

Home Energy Monitors & Energy Management

Posted by Ryan ColemanApril 04, 2012

With BC Hydro’s province-wide smart metering roll-out well underway, British Columbian’s will have the opportunity to engage with the latest in energy management technology for the home.  Known as in-home display’s (IHDs) or home energy monitors (HEMs), these devices transmit information from your smart meter to a small portable unit in your home which tells you at a glance, the amount of electricity you’re using and how much it’s costing before your bill arrives in the mail box!  But remember, home energy monitors alone don’t save you any money; the savings come from becoming aware of the electricity you’re wasting and changing your energy usage behaviours.

For example, a home energy monitor can help you get a better understanding of how you are currently using electricity and which of the appliances in your home are the most power hungry.  Through hands-on home energy management you’ll get answers to questions like: “How does running my washer and dryer every day cost? Or, how much would we save by not running the dishwasher every night?”  In short, by offering almost instant feedback you can see the effect your behaviour changes are having immediately on energy consumption in the home.

So where do you start?  Well, the home energy management landscape is diverse and dynamic with a variety of technology options available ranging from basic usage display through to devices that allow for control and optimization in the home.  The best way to narrow down your options is to decide what level of energy monitoring you want to accomplish, how much you’re willing to spend, and how much you’re looking to save.  Then, when it comes time to select a HEM tool for your home, be sure to do your homework online with a full review the various solutions options for your home.  A good place to start is the following link which provides a comprehensive list of devices, software and home automation tools.  Also, be sure to check out local Vancouver businesses Energy Aware and Rainforest Automation who are making significant inroads in the home energy management space.