PowerCost Monitor – A Few Months Later

About 10 days ago we received an email from Cathy.

No, not my wife. icon smile PowerCost Monitor   A Few Months Later

This Cathy I have never met before (if that’s her real name…..you know how the Internet can be) and her email came out of the blue.

She had seen our prior article back in November on the PowerCost Monitor, this new (to me) device which provides real time information on the quantity and cost of electricity being consumed in the home. Here’s the link to the first of the articles I wrote back in mid-November on the PowerCost Monitor when we first received it for those interested in what the product is about and how we installed it ourselves in our own home.

It was actually interesting that someone had actually read a prior article we published. You know, a “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there does it really make a sound” type of thing; if you write an article on your own web site and no one leaves a comment has anyone actually read it?

Here is the text of the email Cathy wrote:

“I read your post on November 18, 2009 where you describe your experience with the Blueline Innovations PowerCost Monitor. You had just installed it. Now that it has been several months, do you have further comments about the product? Have you re-evaluated the monitor? Have you changed your electricity habits? Were you persuaded to purchase CFLs, power strips or new appliances? I would be very interested in your followup.”

OK, the first thing which should be obvious to anyone who has spent any time on our site, DailyHomeRenoTips.com in the past is that Cathy is someone who has not. If she had she would know that:

(1) we already use power strips to reduce as much phantom electricity consumed in our home as we can, like this one by our home computer which is an easily accessible location for us to turn off when we are not using the home PC:

power strip PowerCost Monitor   A Few Months Later

(2) we have already installed a lot of CFL light bulbs, like these we installed soon after we moved in three years ago in the lighting above our basement pool table:

cfl light bulbs above pool table PowerCost Monitor   A Few Months Later

(3) we already have energy efficient appliances, like our ENERGY STAR rated rear-projection TV

family room with table lamp PowerCost Monitor   A Few Months Later

(4) we have already have had a home energy audit, which motivated us to collect energy conservation as well as water savings tips from now hundreds of others as you can see from our Energy Savings page.

audit report page 3 figure 1 PowerCost Monitor   A Few Months Later

However, Cathy is correct. It has been a few months since we started to use the PowerCost Monitor from Blue Line Innovations in an attempt to further reduce the amount of electricity we consume in our home.

So, has it helped us?

Well, remember we already do a lot in our home to minimize the amount of electricity to consume. Will it work for a family in our situation who already practices electricity conservation as it will for a household which does not yet practice much electricity conservation?

Select the following link to PowerCost Monitor – Where to Put the Display Unit, the next article in this series..

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  1. Cathy says:

    Hi, I have been reading your articles about the PowerCost Monitor, and that it took a few tries but you finally settled on a noticeable spot. You made many changes to your home after your energy audit report several years ago. The monitor might help remind you to turn off the tv or basement light that you left on. I realize you are a very energy conscious person. Because this device gives you lots of numbers to analyze your energy use, do you feel that you are even more micro-managing your energy use? For example, now that you own this device, are you making sure that you fully use the battery of your cell phone (down to 0 bars) before recharging and unplugging immediately when the cell phone reaches a full charge, and not just recharging your cell phone every night for the entire night? Another example: are you deliberately cooking certain meals over other meals because they require less cooking time? Or have you done lots of number crunching and discovered something about the device that you didn’t know before?
    Cathy (yes, my real name)
    P.S. How do you like your 2009 solar/battery powered lawn mower? Has it been maintenance free for the last year? Has it been easy to operate every time? Is there lots of life left in the mower?

  2. Dan says:

    Hey Cathy, welcome back. So many Q’s to reply to so early on a Sunday morning. :)

    To answer the increased micro managing question, I would say yes to an extent. Since the Display Unit is right by the reading desk lamp, I am more inclined to turn the reading desk lamp off sooner in the morning as the Display Unit is a reminder that it is costing me money when it is on.

    So, at the end of the day do I recommend purchasing the PowerCost Monitor for a home whether the household is already electricity conservation conscious or not? Yes.

    It also has the indirect benefit (intended or now) of making me more overall energy conscious for aspects such as home heating and water heating (which for us uses natural gas and not electricity), etc. in little actions I try to do or think of every day.

    As far as the 2009 solar charged lawn more, Yes, it was maintenance free last year, its first year. Yes, it started the first time every time. As far as the battery life, I’ll have to wait until I mow my lawn this spring. Right now it is still covered in snow.


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