A new company, Wattvision, is rolling out a beta version of an energy monitoring system, and it seems promising. The company is selling the Wattvision Sensor for $199 (currently only $149 with the code “wvbetablog“), which can be applied to compatible digital meters. With an online account at Wattvision and the sensor installed, you can start monitoring electricity usage online, on your phone, or through email reports.
In the future, Wattvision indicates that they’ll have tiered pricing for different kinds of access. It’s an interesting strategy that may work if they can get customer lock in. It’s also a bit risky, especially since the same data is available to utilities (and the field is crowded with other players, such as Google, Microsoft, and Blue Line Innovations, just to name a few).
In any event, Wattvision could really help a homeowner out. Knowledge is power, and knowing how equipment uses energy may cause some users to make changes to save energy. It all depends on the user, though.
Also, of note, Wattvision has some interesting social features. You can post your energy use through Twitter or Facebook or just embed that information on your website.
What should be clear is a couple things. First, the Wattvision Sensor is not made for all meter types, such as analog or spinning disk meters. The company is working on making the hardware applicable to more meter types. Second, and this should be obvious to some, Wattvision does not monitor gas or other types of energy usage. So, depending on your set up, you’ll still need to monitor that for energy efficiency purposes.