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A new Energy monitor


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It's interesting but not very useful.


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I don't see anywhere they state how the comm gets out of a sealed metal box. Obviously WiFi, I would think. I see it doesn't support any third party items.


Not sure you are allowed to stuff foreign devices into  your distribution panel. Your not supposed to even make a splice.

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All of these energy monitoring devices are one step above the toy like gadgets from Aeotec. Many of these start ups and wannabe's have several things in common which negates the whole purpose of monitoring your energy consumption.


1. Most of these devices do not measure the line voltage from the POCO. This is the only method to insure accurate readings.


2. Most of these devices absolutely cheap out and provide 1-4 CT's. This is to monitor the primary mains coming into the home. Since there is only 1-4 CT's with a accuracy from anywhere north of 3% and above there is a large margin of error.


3. Because number two does not use multiple CT's to monitor all the breakers this leads to using the *Mythical Desegregation* which is all the rage now. This requires a lot of guessing and software tweaking in hopes of knowing what signature reflects a specific load currently on.


To date not one company has successfully accomplished this *Mythical Unicorn* tracking.


4. None of these toys provide any means of entering time of use, tiered, special, rates, none.


5. Most of these devices only provide a very limited historic view of the data. This is the most important aspect as historic review provides the end user comparison's from previous day, month, year.


6. None of these devices provide a means to customize charts, graphs, views, etc.


7. The bulk of these devices require a cloud hosted account. What are you going to do when they go out of business or start to charge you for the privilege of storing your data?


8. Security / Privacy: How many people want to know exactly when a person left their home? Some of these companies require that your energy data go to third party companies for the soul purpose of selling you other things not required / requested?


9. Development: None of these companies offer a means to provide user feed back about the direction, features, and long term goals of the product.


I could keep going on about these toy like devices but I digress . . .


If anyone is truly serious about energy monitoring and knowing every aspect of your homes electrical system and consumption. The only tried and true Energy Monitoring device is offered by Brultech.


The maker of the Green Eye Monitor (GEM) and the ECM-1240, along with its companion Dash Box (DB). The GEM offers 32 discreet channels to monitor individual circuits. Provides eight 1 Wire temperature channels, four pulse channels to monitor gas, water, digital pulse such as dry contacts.


With the GEM there is no guessing using some kind of *Magic* it measures true power. That is same power the POCO offers you and charges you. The system continues to be developed on every front and also integrates with the ISY-994iZ Series Controller.


Brultech is also in the mist of developing *Virtual Node* support for the GEM. Good luck finding one company that is interested and offering to support the HA space. Lastly, there are countless 3rd party (free) software packages that can store and aggregate the energy data locally or via free cloud hosted services like Smart Energy Groups (SEG).


At the end of the day when people come to their senses and see the huge limitations provided by these start ups. Never mind the super huge companies like Schneider Electric etc.


The Brultech GEM offers the best value per CT / cost ratio.


Keeping in mind also Brultech has NOT been making toasters, blinds, coffee makers, etc. The only thing they have been doing for the last 20 years is making solid, reliable, and scale-able, energy monitors that have been used in industry, business, and residential homes.


You will not find one of these toys in any industry, business, ever . . .

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In the utility field we began running into many of these toys sold for home and industry that just measured current and not RMS either but rather 1.1 x average amperes and then putting out power measurements on a complete guess. The stuff should have never even been on the shelf for sale.

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I've seen a few Canadian POCO's offer the *Blue Planet* strap on monitoring device as some kind of promo. That is similar to how some of the members are using the Zigbee meters to obtain *rough* energy data.


If all you want to know is the rough data I guess that's OK . . .


But, then again you could do the bulk of the work for free and just look at the monthly bill and change your behavior and reduce your consumption, simple!


Again, that would provide what kind of insight for the public, none.


I have written about this topic countless times here and on other forums. There are three types of people who get into this *Energy Monitoring* scene.


1. The guy who just wants a new gadgets and can say to his friends look at me and what I can do. He doesn't care or even know the data he is gathering is useless and meaningless in the big picture. This first type will do absolutely nothing to change their behavior or lifestyle.


2. The next guy is the *Fad Guy* who is riding the coat tails of all the other iSheep. 


Ba ba ba ba baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Initially they will be quite intrigued about the aspect of knowing either local, central, global energy consumption. As time goes on very much like the weather they will lose interest in this endeavor. This half hearted application reflects about 90% of the current populace.


Once they realize it requires work, change of habits and behaviors. You guessed it, they will drop it like a bad habit!


3. The last guy is the one who has tried every gadget on the market in the hopes of finding something truly reliable, accurate, and forward thinking. Their ultimate goal is to understand when, where, how, their energy is being consumed and how to reduce it.


This information is then action-ed upon by reviewing detailed energy data which helps him / her identify vampire draws, load shedding, time shifting their energy use during lower electrical rates.


This in the end is a lifestyle . . .


People can either reduce their consumption or off set their energy by generation. As there is a point where austerity measures only go so far. If your home is super insulated and almost leak free the only alternative to reducing your energy costs is to generate your own electricity or to go off grid.


But that is another topic all together LOL . . . 

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