Operation Household Energy Reduction: Part 13 - Efergy E2 Electricity Monitor

Our latest addition to improve the thermal performance of our home is an Efergy E2? What’s that? It’s a wireless electricity monitor which the promotional blurb sells to me as having all the features of the best selling elite plus a powerful PC software package to track your energy usage on your computer. The e2 also monitors your carbon dioxide emissions allowing you to determine your carbon footprint from your electricity monitor or your computer.

• Track energy usage on your PC

• Determine your carbon footprint

• New display – even easier to use

• Memory function

• Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and average data

• Up to 4 tariff settings

• Simple to install, easy to use

Simple graphs like this show your electricity use in kilowatts, carbon tonnes or $s.

• View the patterns in hours, days, weeks or months

• Understand your energy usage better by tracking the highs, lows and changes

I received it recently as a generous birthday present.

How’s it going? Well at the moment it’s not. The component that has to be wired into the electrical switchboard of course must be installed by an electrician so I am expecting our electrician to arrive to do that some time in the next two weeks. I have seen some reference on review websites to the fact that with our heavy metal Australian switchboard boxes, sometimes the wireless transmitter at the switchboard can struggle to make contact with the indoor advice, so we’ll check that with the electrician and see what she thinks. Then the monitoring begins. We’ve moderated electrical use behaviour quite a bit in the last few years but I’ve heard even some reasonably practiced efficiency types say that they’ve been surprised how much these devices helped them to further moderate their behaviour. The fun will begin shortly.

Now back to those caveats I’ve added to every blog entry in this series.

1) whilst there are technical fixes that can contribute to energy reduction, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t concentrate exclusively on them. My gadget-attracted persona is fascinated with new photo-voltaic cell technology or the latest approach to circulating filtered warm ceiling air into the house. We have considered or are considering all of these approaches but prioritised actions according to the most significant thermal performance improvements for the lowest cost, specific to our home.

2) Related to this point, we are aware of the relative economic capacity we enjoy that allows us to make some of these changes simply.

3) So we want to avoid seeing this as a way we can “proof” our little home against the rest of the world. 90000 litres of localised water storage might be fine if it makes sense in the context of your local rainfall and reasonable water usage. It doesn’t make much sense if it is to safeguard your lifestyle while the rest of the world runs out of water.

4) And part of the reason for adding these thoughts to this blog is to add to the conversation about what is possible and keep us all thinking about ways we can contribute to this kind of work for ALL dwellings, regardless of personal economic capacity.

5) Our efforts are not necessarily particularly remarkable in the scheme of things, but its fun to tell the story, to be encouraged in what you are doing and to encourage others.

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