Measuring Power Consumption

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Before deciding to invest in a renewable energy system it is vital to first of all find out how much and where energy is being used and then conserve any energy that might be being wasted. For appliances that switch on & off automatically (e.g. fridges & freezers) measurement over time is necessary.

Many appliances use energy when you think they are switched off e.g. televisions on Standby or washing machines, computers & chargers left switched on at the wall. It is not uncommon to find that some appliances (e.g. TV’s) use more energy over a 24hr period when switched off (but left plugged in) than when being used. To check for these 'phantom' loads consumption meters can be used to detect where electricity is being wasted and offending items switched off at the wall when not in use.

The efficiency of different appliances can be compared to ensure power is used sensibly and inefficient ones replaced where necessary. This investigation is invaluable to either reduce electricity bills or to make off-grid electricity systems more successful. A watt saved is a watt that doesn’t need to be generated! After a renewable energy system is installed it is just as important to monitor consumption. Consumption can then be compared with production to ensure self-sufficiency. 

See also: Energy Monitors for the monitors we supply.