Gallery: Energy 101: How to Monitor Your Energy


Last week we looked at the smart grid — essentially, a modernization of the transmission and distribution aspects of the electrical grid. This week we’re focusing upon tracking energy usage, since the first step to cutting down on our power consumption is being able to measure it. Smart meters installed as part of smart grid projects will make it extra-easy to monitor home energy use — and while there are numerous smart grid-linked energy monitoring devices coming out soon, there are also are plenty of ways to keep track of your power consumption with an old-fashioned meter.

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  1. petertroast May 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Clarification to tuttles\’ point about Google PowerMeter. Like Google Analytics, what Google has announced so far is a free data display system that is expected to be out late this year. Last week they announced partnerships with a bunch of utilities and smartmeters. They\’ve stated publicly that they\’ll also connect PowerMeter to consumer measuring devices like these, but no announcements yet on which ones. The key point, which many in the press are confusing, is that Google PowerMeter isn\’t a measurement device or data logger in and of itself. It\’s a fair bet, however, that for information design and data visualization, PowerMeter will rock.

    For a sneak preview of what it *might* look like, here\’s our TED, connected to the web in real time, displaying our home\’s electricity data using the Google Finance graph:

  2. tuttles May 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I think Google is coming out with something like this, called the SmartMeter. It’s supposed to be free to monitor electric consumption through your computer. What isn’t Google coming out with these days.

  3. misticalone May 8, 2009 at 1:27 am

    granted you can see your bill at the end of the month. However i think the point is to see how much each appliance is using to hopefully make better decisions or electronic use. its also fun to calculate how you using to see how much the things you use contribute to the bill. $0.19/KWh*(hours of use)*(total watts used)/1000watts = $$

  4. jamesmanny May 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    This is awesome. You can also see how much energy you’re saving at

  5. rgz321p May 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I have a great way to monitor my energy. I get a bill every month from the energy company from whom I purchase energy. It says right on the bill how much energy I used.

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