It is officially autumn, bringing with it cooler days and nights. It is a good idea now to start thinking about the ways you can make your home more energy-efficient. And of course, there are apps that can track and measure your energy usage. Tracking your energy use over an extended period can help you identify your consumption habits, which you can use as a basis to set new goals to become more energy-efficient and save money.
Some homes have built-in monitoring systems installed with their inverter or smart meter, which provide data on energy consumption and solar production. If you don’t currently have these installed, there are alternatives to monitor your energy use. Mobile applications are available to make tracking energy easier and more accessible, often used in conjunction with external monitoring hardware.
Below is a list of four mobile apps and devices to make energy tracking and management a bit easier this winter:
If you have solar power, Wattcost is an Australian start-up that designed a small device to measure and track your energy usage and solar production. The device and app also provide tips based on data to help save you money. The app is easy to understand, showing energy costs and savings in dollars, kWh and CO2-e in real-time.
Their energy tracking app is used in conjunction with 3 sensors – one to capture grid purchases, one for the solar inverter output and a third to measure the home energy use. Installation of the sensors must be done by a qualified electrician, as the two circuit sensors are clamped around electricity cables usually found behind the electricity meter panel.
Wattcost is currently available for pre-order in Australia.
Powerpal, is another Aussie start-up and connects your electricity meter to your smart phone. It provides you with a simple platform to monitor your energy usage. A sensor is placed on your electricity meter and is able to detect your household’s energy use, providing real-time data on your consumption. The app provides a visual representation of how your energy is being used and where your money goes. The app also provides alerts to keep you on track of your energy goals, as well as incentives to help you reduce your consumption during peak times, such as free movie tickets.
As a Victorian resident you might be able to get a Powerpal for free.
The Energy Rating Calculator is an app created by the Australian Department of Environment. The app provides information on the best options for energy efficient appliances. It lists the model, price and information about the brand and the model in comparison with another. It also shows the sustainability value upon purchasing the appliance by considering the price and energy use over the next 10 years.
JouleBug takes a gamified approach to energy tracking and monitoring. Rather than providing you with information about your appliances or the amount of electricity they consume, this app requires you to actively engage in sustainable practices and form new habits. JouleBug works off a point system and gives credit for every effort you put into saving energy and the environment, based off their tasks and challenges. You learn new habits and explore different sustainability practices with your friends that help make a difference in protecting the earth, as well as informing you of how much money your action has saved you.
We hope you found this information helpful and look forward to hearing if these apps have helped you reduce your power costs this season.