Home Energy Monitors / Automation

This is really starting to pick up steam now – Lady Ada has an open-source version


there’s a group in London that has regular meetings and a lovely logo


the products are going mainstream


google are getting in on the act, Tim O’Reilly is getting in on the act.

And so on – I’m still not sure they’re getting it entirely right – although Google and Amee aren’t getting it wrong – they’re just hardware independent, and this is a hardware problem.

So what I think it needs is something that looks a bit like this:


Remote control is the bribe to get people to use this – it’s the killer app, and monitoring (which is where the real benefit lies) sneaks in on the back of it.


– there needs to be wall plugs like killawatts, that monitor usage and can switch on/off remotely
– there needs to be clamp meters that can measure the whole house, or appliances where remote control is difficult or unnecessary
– The signal needs to be being logged all the time, without a computer – straight to a modem.
– the web software needs to be able to be hardware-agnostic.
– the visual feedback needs to operate at a really simple, emotive level
– it needs to be useful without having a meter on every socket
– it needs to be able to pull power from the lines its measuring – ie: no batteries
– and it needs to be cheap.
– the “devices” or “rooms” etc need to be taggable – this is where the social benefits kick in – so we can see if a certain product group (or even product) is being a drain on resources.

It’s nearly there, but it’s not quite there.

This one is interesting (TED) because it uses the power lines themselves to transmit data – rather than resorting to XBEEs

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  1. […] anyway, I’ve been sitting on this idea of electricity-monitoring for about 10 years now, and thought I had it all figured […]