Black & Decker EM100B Power Monitor
The Black & Decker Power Monitor allows you to observe your home's electricity consumption in real time. To set it up, you just have to clamp a little sensor on to your electricity meter and do a quick calibration at the monitor and off you go.
The monitor keeps an ongoing projection of your monthly bill which means it actually tells you your usage in a dollar amount. There's also a feature that tells you the power consumption of individual appliances. According the Black & Decker, use of the Power Monitor can result in habit changes which can knock as much as 20% off your electricity bill.
Although we see the benefits of this device, we're pretty sure that it would drive us crazy in no time. By the end of the first month we would start assigning cost amounts to every household task that uses electricity. "Well, if I don't toast my bagel this morning, I'll be 12 cents ahead of my projected electricity bill." "Honey, do you really need to blow-dry your hair this morning, if you don't, we could save 19 cents?" "Maybe if we turned the TV off during commercials, we could save 6 dollars this year." There are some things we're better off not knowing.
We checked the Amazon reviews and although most are very positive, there is some incompatibility with certain types of electrical meters. Amazon has a chart of which ones are compatible and which aren't.
The Power Monitor costs about $100, which, if what they say is true, it's money that could be made back in no time.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at August 10, 2009 5:00 AM