PowerHouse eMonitor lets you manage power use down to the circuit

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|03.08.10

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PowerHouse eMonitor lets you manage power use down to the circuit
As energy prices increase, so does our desire to understand and actively manage household power use. Joining the fight alongside Google's PowerMeter and NEC's "dung beetle" game, PowerHouse Dynamic's eMonitor interfaces with your circuit box to tell you how much energy each individual circuit is using, and the management software seems particularly robust: users can look forward to real-time stats, customized energy saving recommendations based on your home's energy usage, and a handy read-out of your "carbon footprint" and what it would take to offset it. In addition to all that, alerts can be configured for everything from overloaded circuits to left-on appliances, individual outlets and thermostats can be controlled remotely (optional), and an iPhone app is slated to be released later this year. Packages start at $800. PR, video after the break.

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Time to Have Complete Power Over Your Energy Use

Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor is the world's first comprehensive, affordable, per circuit home energy monitoring and energy management system

03.05.2010 – Do you know how much your refrigerator is costing you? Or that space heater in the home office? Or the entertainment center that seems to produce offspring in the night?

Nobody has, until March, when the PowerHouse Dynamics eMonitor will begin shipping exclusively from Freeport, Maine based EnergyCircle.com. It is the world's first affordable, whole house, circuit by circuit energy monitoring and management system.

What does this mean?

The eMonitor's unique combination of hardware, software, and services let you view your home's 24x7, minute-by-minute electricity use, electricity cost, and carbon footprint, as well as historical information by day, month, or year, all in a personalized and intuitive graphical interface from anywhere you can access the internet. It also provides cost estimates based on current and past usage.

"Circuit by circuit energy monitoring is a significant breakthrough in the category," said Peter Troast, Energy Circle's founder and CEO. "Seeing your energy use by appliance and by room is extraordinarily powerful. This simple act of knowing your usage in real time drives better awareness, engages families and produces real savings."

The cutting-edge feature of the eMonitor is its capability to display electricity use by individual circuit so you can see real-time and historical information on major appliances, entertainment centers, and specific rooms. The service keeps you continuously up to speed on your home's energy usage by providing you with alerts if circuits are overloaded, if there are problems with appliances or your renewable sources, if your electricity usage is unusual, or if your energy bills are approaching a threshold (set by you).

The eMonitor dashboard is viewable on the web from any local or remote location, and provides customized energy saving recommendations based on your home's energy usage.

The single-unit eMonitor configuration comes with enough hardware to monitor 24 circuits (2 mains and 22 addition circuits) and is compatible with both 120v and 240v electrical systems. Most American homes will work with the single unit eMonitor. For homes with more than one panel, or more than 22 circuits, purchase the 2 eMonitor configuration. The 2 eMonitor configuration is $1,498.

eMonitor integrates with renewable energy systems (for solar PV, solar thermal, or wind installations), monitoring energy production, savings, and efficiency, and also reports on any problems with those installations.

The eMonitor is also equipped for future capability to remotely control individual outlets and thermostats, and will integrate with many existing home control systems. Planned future enhancements also include the ability to monitor other energy sources such as natural gas and home heating oil.

After a month in the Energy Circle home, some interesting results:

Energy Circle founders Peter Troast and Lisa Fahay have been using the eMonitor on their own home since early January 2010 and along with the above mentioned features, have had some unexpected benefits:

"Since we began testing eMonitor in our home, we've seen big changes in our families behavior," said Lisa Fahay, Energy Circle's Director of eCommerce. "The kids are actively competing for whose room uses the least energy, we uncovered the fact that the dryer heat settings are broken, and we've found new sources of vampire power that we're knifing in the heart."

"I'm very impressed with and excited about eMonitor," said Troast. "It is an extensible system that will grow over time to include smart outlets and controllable thermostats, displays and other add-on devices. It is an extremely powerful tool."
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