It’s become second nature for us to ask Alexa to order a pizza. Or we ask Google Assistant to turn up the volume on our favorite song. We have no problem asking our virtual best friends to set a timer. A smart home device can check our calendars, report the weather, and tell us a jokes. In fact, they’ve become so much a part of the family that we question how we ever got by without them. And we silently hope we might never have to again.
This didn’t stop with an Amazon Echo or Google Home Hub. We probably went on to buy a Ring doorbell, or a Nest thermostat. We love playing with all the lighting options that come with Philips Hue bulbs.
The future is all about automation as the ever-growing list of smart home devices continues to infiltrate the market. Did you forget to feed your pet before you left the house? Do you wish there was an easier way to lower all the window shades in your home? Smart home devices have those situations covered too. In most cases, all you have to do is ask Alexa.
You can control your outdoor watering with the Rachio Sprinkler Controller. Get a better night’s sleep with the Sleep Number 360 Degree Smart Bed. Turn off electrical devices not in use with the Samsung SmartThings WiFi Smart Plug. And so much more!
What’s the next smart home device?
Some people question whether or not all this automation is actually helping us. While that can’t be answered as a blanket statement for all, there are amazing and very practical advantages to home automation. Convenience, comfort, and peace of mind are just some of the many.
So yes, you may think you’re just about as connected as you possibly can be with all your technology working together at the touch of a finger. But there’s a device that has been pushing its way onto the scene and might just be one of the most useful smart home devices you could invest in. Why? Because this one will save you money and energy.
If you’re trying to decide what your next smart home device should be, we’ll help you cut out the guesswork. It’s time for an energy monitor.
What is an energy monitor?
Energy monitors are the latest in smart home devices. They do exactly what the name implies: they monitor the energy use in your home. Think of them as a gateway to the inner workings of how all the energy is being consumed in your house. Energy monitors connect directly to your electrical system. Once connected, they provide information about ways to make your home more energy efficient by equipping you with friendly data and graphs.
Energy monitors like Emporia’s Vue are designed to prevent costly repairs, conserve energy and save money.
How do they work?
From installation to ease of use, smart home energy monitors are made so that homeowners can comfortably operate them. You don’t have to be an electrician or reader of the latest U.S. DOE bulletins to understand how to use and interpret the data. The Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor prides itself on being simple and easy to use. The Vue offers straightforward installation, effortless setup and clear, meaningful insight.
Energy monitors are installed in your home’s breaker box. Most, including the Vue, come with detailed DIY instructions. While you can do it yourself, some consumers opt to use an electrician for additional guidance. Once installed, it connects to the cloud via your WiFi network. Then, the energy information is sent back to you through an app on your phone or tablet in a friendly, readable format.
Along with the information being collected 24/7, you’ll get recommendations on ways to cut costs and change the way your home consumes energy.
What can they tell me about my home’s energy use?
The simple answer is a whole lot more than what your electricity bill does. Your bill will offer you a few numbers. One telling you how many kilowatt hours were used during a given month, the other indicating how much you owe. But it’s nearly impossible to try to figure out why there’s a sharp spike this month when the month before was well below average from you electric bill.
You need a device that can give you real-time and usable data in order to understand what’s happening in your home. This is something the utility companies can’t provide.
An energy monitor like the Vue tracks electricity use and generation 24/7. The Vue then sends your data securely over WiFi to the Emporia Cloud where calculations and analysis are performed. Then, the data is sent back to you in language that is understandable.
Additionally, you can track how much energy is being used by certain appliances in your home by adding in the Vue Expansion Module. This allows you to monitor things like your air conditioner, water heater and washing machine. This information helps you understand which things use the most energy and what you can do to minimize their use. It may also give you insight into which devices may not have realized were on.
Even when adding the Expansion Module to the Emporia Vue Energy Monitor, you will still be paying significantly less than other similar products on the market. You can read more about price and feature comparisons here.
What can I do with the information from an energy monitor?
One of the most notable benefits of an energy monitor is that you receive real-time cost tracking as opposed to a snapshot taken by the utility company at some point during the month. Now, you have the ability to see exactly how much energy is being used at any point during the day — every day of the year. That information is then converted into how much you’re paying for that energy.
Additional benefits include:
- Becoming aware of the energy you’re using
- Getting a better idea of how much you’re spending during various times of the month and year
- Being able to see immediate effects of turning devices on and off to see which pull more or less energy
- Choosing when and how much to use high-energy appliances
- Being able to consider ways to make energy-efficient changes
- Identifying potential issues before they become noticeable
How much money can I save by installing an energy monitor?
More often than not, those who are interested in their energy consumption and subsequent changes tend to be looking into or have already installed solar panels. They know that while there is a significant upfront cost to taking their home off the standard energy grid, the investment will pay for itself over time.
This is also true for energy monitors. There is the upfront cost of the monitor and perhaps the installation by an electrician. But odds are, you’ll have a positive return on investment after just one year of usage. According to our data, the average homeowner using the Emporia Vue will save $40-$174 in energy costs during the first year. After that, savings can continue to grow dependent on location, usage and home characteristics.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), energy monitoring companies are finding that nearly a quarter of all the consumed energy in a home is coming from appliances that people didn’t even realize were on. Or they knew the appliance was on but didn’t know just how much they were costing them. The dryer is typically the top energy user in the home, but you may find that by simply unplugging that old basement TV or humidifier, your next utility bill has the potential to be down by 25%!
Convinced that an energy monitor is your next smart home device?
Instead of taking your utility company’s word for how much energy you’re using, why not take the matter into your own hands and measure the usage for yourself? Luckily there’s a way for you to do that now with energy monitors like Emporia’s Vue.
If you’re ready for your next smart home device, we’d love to talk with you more about why we believe it should be an energy monitor! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.