Our business has experienced a dramatic increase in requirements for the precision electric power measurement sensors used to measure electric power at the household and small commercial level. These sensors are incorporated into energy monitoring systems designed specifically for these markets. The energy monitoring systems typically consist of a local data gathering module, a communication link via the internet to transmit the electric power measurement data and an online display of the electric power data through a personal web page.
I imagine that the advantage to the typical homeowner is the identification of phantom power loads, vampire power drains and seriously defective equipment. These would appear to be one-time investigations unless the home is in a location with extreme energy rates (e.g. Hawaii, Alaska …), the owner is a “data freak”, the owner is a serious “green” advocate and/ or the local electric power distribution utility offers “time of day” pricing. Time of day pricing is congestion pricing. A higher KWH rate is charged when demand is high. Lower rates are in effect when the demand is low (typically the middle of the night). After the initial investigations and remedial actions, a monthly savings on the order of a low double digit percentage would seem reasonable due to the owners increased consciousness of electric power use. If the home owner has access to “time of day” priced electric power service, then significantly higher savings can be realized through judicious programming of the electric power usage to take advantage of the lower rate periods.
On the other hand, small commercial establishments with monthly electric bills in the thousands of dollars, a low double digit monthly savings can quickly become serious money. If the system offers “control functions” (the ability to send a command back to the local data gathering module and initiate turn on/ turn off function), then equipment adjustments could be made remotely through an internet enabled computer, tablet, smart phone.
ABC News Report: Time of Day Pricing and Energy Monitoring
Green Tech Today 16: Powerhouse Dynamics