Monitoring my power usage

A little over a week ago I installed a power monitor at home. I got it free from my power company, but it appears to be a re-badged version of the EnviR from Current Cost. As well as giving an instantaneous display of power consumption it collects the data and allows you to download it to Excel, where I’ve been having a little bit of fun with pivot tables! Here are just a few observations after having it installed for a little over a week.

Not surprisingly, we use less electricity on weekdays than weekends, since we’re out more. The difference isn’t huge, though – 7.2kWh compared to 8.4kWh. No doubt this is because of my second observation – we use more power in the evenings than during the day. TV, laptops, lights, etc. are all used more in the evenings, whether weekday or weekend.

The lowest level of power consumption I’ve seen is 84W, which I assume is the accumulated power consumption of all the things that are on permanently – router, alarm, central heating timer, etc. – and all the things that are on standby – TV, PVR, Wii, etc. 84W is higher than I expected, but others have said their figure is much higher so maybe I’m doing quite well?

Monitoring consumption isn’t the point, though. The trick now is going to be to figure out how to use this device to encourage me to use less electricity. All suggestions welcome! I’ll report back in a few months…



  1. Mike Live Wedding Band @ 2011-09-14 20:51

    Hey Steve,

    Great blog, interesting to see your initial findings. I wonder how many of the “on-standby” items could be easily powered down over night, or during weekdays? We, for example, have our tv, stereo, and wii attached to one extension, which is then unplugged overnight until we next use it.

    My dvr is slightly overkill though, being a full on pc from about 5 years ago. That could be better I guess.

    Have you been round turning things off yet?


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