“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it”
– Lord Kelvin
We are in the midst of a mindshift of the energy consumer. Consumers are becoming keenly aware of not only the direct cost of the energy that they use, but also of the external health and environmental effects as well. For a multitude of reasons, they are looking to reduce the amount of energy that is being supplied by the grid.
But our homes are complex energy distribution centers. We connect dozens to hundreds of lights, appliances, and plugs into our homes, and most of us have no idea of what energy is being used where.
For many, installing a solar system is a sure fire way to reduce utility energy consumption. But even after a solar system is installed, a client may have several questions:
- Is my solar array producing the power that I was told?
- Is my energy usage appropriate for my home?
- What other opportunities are there to reduce my energy consumption?
- How should these other opportunities be prioritized?
There is one answer to all of these questions: energy monitoring.
Awareness is the first step towards change and it is gained through measurement. The energy monitor is the enabling tool in this process. It consists of a small device that connects to the electrical panel in your home that can be configured to measure a variety of different energy flows throughout your house in real time. Energy monitors also collect energy usage over time. This allows you to understand energy usage patterns and identify opportunities to make positive steps to change.
Energy monitors can provide energy consumption down to the appliance level. Think of it as your home’s fingerprint, by analyzing this print, we are able to find patterns and usage and identify areas where energy can be saved. We have been able to identify a failing HVAC system, point out an inefficient pool pump, and even find an overactive water heater.
Below is an example of one day’s energy usage in one of our client’s homes. The area in red represents energy that the home is using from the grid. The area in white represents energy that the home is using from the solar system on the roof. The area in green represents excess solar energy that is being fed back into grid.
In addition to this macro level view, there are also individual circuits being monitored, that allows the homeowner to identify specific appliances in the home. Having this data provides a slate of options for the customer when looking for other ways to reduce energy consumption.
When you measure, you will improve it…and you can quote us on that.