What’s the Difference Between an Energy Meter and a Smart Energy Monitor?

As wireless energy meters become more common, those who’ve heard about them may wonder why they’ve become so popular and useful. To understand why we must first look at the difference between an energy meter and a smart energy monitoring system like the new Smappee, and see just how a smart energy monitoring system can improve people’s lives.

The most common and least sophisticated kind is an energy meter device (or plug load) that measures the energy usage of a single device, such as a lamp or a refrigerator. Plug the meter into the wall socket, then plug the device you want to test into the meter, turn on the device and the meter will show how many watts that single device is using.

Along a similar track, there are some energy meters which measure the total power consumption of the entire home and/or that of sub-circuits (performing sub metering). While these give more information about total home energy usage or some limited number of appliances, they’re very specific and limited in the data that is being collected.

Smart energy monitors on the other hand, such as the new Smappee

do much more than provide data about energy usage. Smart energy monitors are like an energy-based virtual assistant for the homeowners and an essential partner to the new smart home eco-system.

One of the most significant benefits of smart energy monitors such as Smappee, is the ability to provide valuable energy information down the appliance level. While regular energy meters can show you total energy consumption of a household, smart energy monitors provide next-level data granularity, showing the homeowner energy consumption for specific home appliances, allowing them to discover energy guzzlers in their home (e.g. old fridge, pool heat pump) and make smart decisions about their energy use to maximize energy savings.

Smappee’s patented Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) technology allows Smappee to act like the Shazam of energy monitors, listening to the unique energy signatures of a home’s most important electrical devices and then provide system owners with the energy data it discovers through a smart app.

Furtherstill, not only does Smappee provide homeowners with previously unseen information about their energy use, Smappee also uses this data to learn about a homeowner’s daily energy habits and then offers homeowner lifestyle insights—and recommendations.

For example, how many hours of television are you watching a day? How many hours is your child using his game console? Did you leave the lights on after you left home? Smappee can tell you all of this and more. For example, in the event of leaving the lights on, Smappee can notify you via the app, and allows you to configure Smappee to turn it off automatically after an hour or when you’re 150 meters away from the home, saving you wasted energy.

And because Smappee is a smart IoT energy monitoring system, it can communicate with other smart home systems, such as a smart motion detector. For example, you can configure Smappee to turn on your coffee machine or start baking your croissants when your motion detector notices you are awake in the morning, saving you time and energy in the process.

Beyond energy consumption monitoring, Smappee is also a solar energy monitor and energy traffic controller that can be easily installed by a certified Smappee solar professional. Smappee intelligently directs excess solar production to charge specific devices first, such as a backup battery or your electric vehicle, allowing homeowners to take advantage of the best utility rates for solar homes.

So you can see, there’s a big difference between an energy meter and a smart energy monitor. Energy monitors just tell you about energy usage (total consumption or consumption at the sub-circuit level). Smart energy monitors not only reveal wasteful energy habits and increase savings, but can smarten your home and provide helpful insights for you and your family.

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