Monitor Your Home’s Energy Use (and Save!) Using These 7 Gadgets
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Of all the common myths surrounding smart homes 7 Common Smart Home Myths That Simply Aren't True 7 Common Smart Home Myths That Simply Aren't True Smart home devices are no different than most other gadgets -- and there are many misconceptions that people have about them. Let's clear those up! Read More , the one that just won’t seem to die is the idea that smart home gadgets are simply gimmicks. That may have been true five years ago, but it isn’t anymore. Many smart home gadgets today are intensely practical.

Energy monitoring is one area where this especially holds true. By monitoring your energy use, you can pinpoint all the ways in which you’re wasting money (and harming the environment, if you care about that sort of thing). And because these are smart monitors, you can tap in and see your energy usage reports in real-time, either on a mobile device or on the web.

Sure, energy monitoring devices may have high upfront costs, but the long-term savings easily make up for that. Learn more in our article on how much smart homes really cost How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? A smart home could change your life – freeing up time in your day and regulating your routine so you don't have to remember what needs to be done. But how expensive is it, really? Read More . Interested? Here are some of the niftiest energy monitoring gadgets to check out.

Monitoring Individual Outlets

1. WeMo Insight Smart Plug

Monitor Your Home's Energy Use (and Save!) Using These 7 Gadgets wemo wifi smart plug

Wemo Insight Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Lights, Appliances and Manage Energy Costs From Your Phone, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Wemo Insight Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Lights, Appliances and Manage Energy Costs From Your Phone, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Control from anywhere. Plug in a Wemo Insight Smart Plug, download the Wemo app, and control your lights and appliances right from your phone and even your voice through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. No hub or subscription required. Buy Now At Amazon $39.99

The WeMo Insight Smart Plug is literally a portable outlet that plugs into a regular outlet. You then plug whatever device you want into the Insight, and the Insight will track how much energy that device uses — lamps, coffee makers, space heaters, TVs, or whatever other device you want.

The Insight pairs with the WeMo mobile app to provide real-time energy usage reports. You can also control the Insight from within the app, remotely turning it on or off from anywhere. It’s a bit pricey, especially if you want more than one, but is nifty enough to improve day-to-day life Smart Home Technology to Save Money and Improve Your Life Smart Home Technology to Save Money and Improve Your Life The following smart home solutions are practical and relatively inexpensive. Some will even help you save money. Read More .

2. TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug

Monitor Your Home's Energy Use (and Save!) Using These 7 Gadgets tplink smart plug

TP-Link Smart Plug w/ Energy Monitoring, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant, Control your Devices from Anywhere (HS110) TP-Link Smart Plug w/ Energy Monitoring, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant, Control your Devices from Anywhere (HS110) Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control Buy Now At Amazon $31.99

The TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug is pretty much the same thing as the WeMo Insight Smart Plug: an outlet that plugs into a regular outlet. In similar fashion, it comes with a mobile app that you can use to view energy usage reports and turn devices on/off remotely. It’s cheaper than the Insight, but unfortunately bulkier.

Just make sure you get the Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring! TP-Link makes other models in this line, including the regular Wi-Fi Plug and the Wi-Fi Plug Mini, neither of which track the energy used by the connected device.

3. WiOn Smart Surge Protector

Monitor Your Home's Energy Use (and Save!) Using These 7 Gadgets wion smart surge protector

WiOn 50051 Indoor Wi-Fi Smart Surge Protector, 6 Grounded Outlets WiOn 50051 Indoor Wi-Fi Smart Surge Protector, 6 Grounded Outlets Control outdoor electrical devices from anywhere - using your smartphone with no hub required Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

If you want more bang for your buck, the WiOn Smart Surge Protector should be at the top of your list. Instead of paying for a single outlet, you get six outlets on one strip. Four of the outlets are individually controllable through the WiOn mobile app while the other two outlets are always on. No smart hub required!

But perhaps what’s most notable is that this isn’t just a power strip but a surge protector. If you don’t know why that matters, see our article on why you need a surge protector Do You Really Need a Surge Protector? Do You Really Need a Surge Protector? A surge protector is not the same thing as a power strip! Here's how they're different and why you need surge protectors instead, as well as how to choose a good one. Read More . Long story short, it’ll protect plugged-in devices from — you guessed it — power surges!

Monitoring the Entire Home

4. Neurio W1-HEM Energy Monitor

Neurio Home Electricity Monitor (North American Version) Neurio Home Electricity Monitor (North American Version) Provides a real-time view on where and when your home's electricity is being used - Appliance view is a paid upgrade and not included in the base product purchase Buy Now At Amazon $219.99

The Neurio W1-HEM Energy Monitor is a small device that connects to your home’s breaker panel. It tracks detailed information, like when certain appliances start and stop and how much energy they actually use. It’s very useful for spotting energy leaks around your house.

With the Neurio mobile app, you can see how energy is being used in real time. (Unfortunately, the “Appliance View” feature is a paid upgrade.) Over time, it will notify you with tips on how to further save energy. And you can even use Neurio to notify you when a certain device or appliance is turned on or off.

To learn more about how the Neurio Energy Monitor works, see our article on how smart energy monitors can really save money How a Smart Energy Monitor Can Save Money And Give You Peace of Mind How a Smart Energy Monitor Can Save Money And Give You Peace of Mind Smart energy monitors tell you how much electricity your appliances use, and how much money you could save if you turned them off. They can also help you create clever smart automations. Read More .

5. Sense Energy Monitor

The Sense Energy Monitor connects to your home’s breaker panel and “listens” to all of the electrical devices in your house to get a “sense” of where your energy usage happens. It tracks watts for every appliance/device and lets you view usage in the Sense mobile app.

No smart hub required! As of this writing, it can’t detect every single device, but it can identify most of them and continues to improve over time. If you have solar generation in your house, Sense can also measure solar energy production with a $50 upgrade.

6. CURB Energy Monitoring System

CURB Home Energy Monitoring System (Solar Ready) CURB Home Energy Monitoring System (Solar Ready) Real-time home energy monitoring system Buy Now At Amazon $399.00

The CURB Energy Monitor is similar to the above systems: connect to your breaker panel and measure your energy usage. But it has a few quality-of-life extras that the others lack.

CURB wants to be “Mint for energy” (that is, Mint the personal finance tracker). Not only does it help you pinpoint big leaks and wasted energy, and not only can you control your electricity remotely, but you can even set up “energy budgets” for all the different energy connections on your house. You set it up once and CURB identifies every appliance/device on its own.

7. Brultech GreenEye Monitor

Monitor Your Home's Energy Use (and Save!) Using These 7 Gadgets brultech greeneye energy monitor

The Brultech GreenEye Monitor is another home device that hooks up to the breaker panel, able to monitor up to 32 individual channels if needed, and shows usage stats with the mobile app. With the Commercial version, Brultech GEM can even monitor multiple-dwelling buildings.

One unique aspect is that Brultech GEM has four inputs for reading pulse outputs, which means it can tap into water, gas, and motion detection systems. It also has an input for reading certain kinds of temperature sensors.

Other Ways to Monitor and Save Energy

One honorable mention that we’d be remiss to skip is the Nest Smart Thermostat. It hooks into your central heating and/or cooling, learns your household’s schedule and temperature settings, maximizes comfort while minimizing costs, and provides usage tracking and bill forecasting.

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation, Stainless Steel, Works with Amazon Alexa Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation, Stainless Steel, Works with Amazon Alexa Google Home works with Nest. Feeling chilly? Just say, "Ok Google, set my temperature to 72 degrees." Buy Now At Amazon $192.99

Learn more about how to save energy with the Nest 7 Nest Automation Tricks to Cut Your Heating Bill in Half 7 Nest Automation Tricks to Cut Your Heating Bill in Half If there were a Nest thermostat in every home, it would have the biggest single impact on energy consumption in history; and it could save you more money than you might imagine. Here's how. Read More . If you’re wary of the Nest for whatever reason, see our comparison of Nest vs. Ecobee3 Ecobee3 vs. Nest Thermostat: A Head-to-Head Comparison Ecobee3 vs. Nest Thermostat: A Head-to-Head Comparison Did you know that a smart thermostat can boost your home value? It's one of many reasons why a smart thermostat is well worth the initial investment. But which one should you get? Read More for a more-than-adequate alternative.

In addition to smart thermostats, there are several other energy-saving technologies 7 Energy Saving Technologies to Lower Your Home's Carbon Footprint 7 Energy Saving Technologies to Lower Your Home's Carbon Footprint The following energy saving technologies can be introduced into our homes to reduce our environmental impact. Not all will be affordable just yet, but hopefully they will all become the norm in the near future. Read More you can use to reduce your energy bill and cut down on your carbon footprint. How do you monitor your home energy usage, if at all? Share with us down in the comments!

Image Credit: Marcus_Hofmann/Depositphotos

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  1. dragonmouth
    November 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    "Of all the common myths surrounding smart homes, the one that just won’t seem to die is the idea that smart home gadgets are simply gimmicks."
    In many cases, they are gimmicks. They may noodge profligate people who like to maintain a shirt-sleeve environment in their house all year round (68 degrees in the summer, 75 degrees in the winter), who leave lights on all over the house. However, for people who already practice energy conservation, these gadgets ARE gimmicks. For such people, the purchase of these gizmos wastes way more money than it saves.

    There is a minimum level of energy required to run a home. No matter how many monitoring gadgets you install, you will not be able to reduce the energy used to below that level without making the inhabitants uncomfortable.

    Without using any monitoring devices and without knowing the particulars of any family's energy usage, I can tell you how everybody can save a lot of money on energy use. However, it will not make for a comfortable quality of life. It all depends on badly you want to save money and the environment.
    a) Go back to using only a landline, get rid of all cell phones and mobile devices. Hard wired phones do not require charging, mobile devices do.
    b) Turn on your computer and its peripherals only when you actually will use them. Most of the time they just sit there using electricity.
    c) Lower your thermostat to 64 degrees or lower in the winter.
    d) Do not use A/C in the summer.
    e) Use only 40 watt or lower light bulbs in all the light fixtures.
    f) Instead of using electrical devices, try to use their manual equivalents (mixer, shaver, fans, etc)

  2. dragonmouth
    November 9, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    What baseline are you using for your claim that any or all of these gizmos can help a homeowner to save money?

    You can reduce the amount of energy you use in your home only so much before you make it uncomfortable to live in.
    You can set the thermostats at 60 degrees (or lower) during cold weather and not use any air conditioning or cooling during the summer.
    You can go back to using a landline instead of each family member having their own smartphone. How much energy does it take to charge those smartphones? You also save hundreds of dollars monthly by not having to pay fro data plans and rental of phones.
    You can power up your PC(s) and peripherals only when you will actually use them.
    You can use 40W or less light bulbs throughout your home and severely limit their use.
    Etc. etc. etc. Saves a lot of money but what will the quality of life be?

    The gizmos mentioned in the article may help profligate people save money. But for many, not buying them will be a bigger savings than the possible savings they may get from buying and using them.