Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Would You Stream Your Energy Data Like A Netflix Movie?

As we embark on the the second month of 2015 we have already seen how our government feels about a clean energy future in the United States. The Obama administration is pushing for an 80 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction by the year 2025.[i] But, wait to get those reductions don’t "we the people"need to make a change too? Homeowners as well as business owners are not large government entities that have endless amounts of disposal income. So, where does one start to becoming “green”?   Well let us here at SJVCEO help to point you in the right direction, since we have a bit of experience with energy benchmarking and upgrades.

When SJVCEO takes on a project with one of our local governments we always start with gathering energy usage data. To some this task may seem daunting, but trust us this step can be pretty easy when you have the right tools. The obvious choice would be to get your utility data downloaded monthly from your utility website. But, for those of us that like to know the up to the minute data there are a few new options on the market this year.

The first option for those types is wattvision. This product has you set up a sensor on your meter outside and connect that to the gateway that transmits the data. Your energy usage is then stored in the “cloud” of wattvision. Then you are able to login and access your up to the minute energy data, which comes in intervals of 15 seconds. This device will also alert you when you have an energy spike; that’s only if you tell the app to do so.  Wattvision also has a fun competitive nature about it. The product will allow you to share and compare with other users. Who knows you may even show up on their “Top Energy Savers Leaderboard.”

The second option would be the PowerCost. This tool has s sensor that is installed on your meter and will information wirelessly to a hand held monitor, pictures to the left. This tool allows you to see your kilowatt usage as well as cost per hour. PowerCost as is developed to work with 3rd party apps. One app that the company recommendeds is PloWatt.

Now we come to the third and final option Bidgely HomeBeat Energy Monitor. This device takes energy usage collection to a whole new level. This device doesn’t need to have anything connected to your meter, since it uses a specific program that allows it to wirelessly communicate.  This energy monitor collects data every 5 to 10 seconds and can be called somewhat of a “detective”. [ii]  This gadget can be put to detective mode, which will then allow you to see how much energy is being used by household items. One other fun item that Bidgely has to offer is the customer support tool. This tool helps to show utility customers why their utility bills are as high as they are. It makes it easier on everyone involved when it comes to billing disputes.

When all is said and done energy saving is in the hands of those that use the energy. If we are aiming to hit the 80 percent reduction we all need to make a change. Take the first step in making that change by monitoring your energy usage today!

[i] “The Obama-Biden Plan”, Feb., 9, 2015,

[ii] “Bidgely’s New Real-Time Energy Disaggregation Tools”, Feb., 9, 2015,

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