I have been interested in energy conservation for years and was an early adopter of more efficient CFL bulbs and now LED bulbs. Originally my goal was to go “Off the GRID”, which I would still love to do, but I think I am still a long ways from being able to do that. The first step in going off the grid or just saving on your electric bill is to know how much energy you are using.


I monitor my electric use pretty closely and people ask me all the time how do I “Truly Know” how much energy I am using at any given time. I use a couple of different products. For individual measurements, for example maybe a computer, or a lamp, I use a Kill-A-Watt meter. You can find these things on sale for usually around $15 dollars from www.newegg.com or most online technology retailers. They are fantastic in allowing you to pinpoint the energy hogs in your house, but you still need to know how much energy your entire house is using per day, per hour, minute or even down to the second then you need to invest in a measuring device that connects to your electric panel. I bought the TED 5000 a few years ago. I purchased the TED 5000-C, the only difference in their available models is the accessories that come with each model, for example a portable display, or the number of sources you can monitor. You can even monitor solar panels, wind generators, or maybe you just want to know how much the dishwasher is using everyday. I paid $239.95, and its still the exact same price. TED stands for “The energy Detective” and it allows you to do exactly that, detect how much energy you are using and even find out where its coming from.


Here is a screenshot shot from the built in server, you can access it through any browser after you connect the TED 5000 to your home network.Ted_5000


The entire system is really easy to setup, if you are not comfortable messing around with your home electricity, you should have an electrician handle that for you, but its actually very simple to install. You can click the screenshot to get a larger view. You’ll notice the meter that shows current electric consumption, daily usage, monthly projected usage and more. This is just the front screen, probably where you will spend most of your time, but the other screens allow you to see hourly, daily, monthly breakdowns plus much more. This product does exactly what it says and has been very reliable. I moved it from my old rental house when I moved into my home a couple of months ago, and had zero problems setting it back up.


I hope to put up some more detailed information about the actual setup and use of the system in another post, so please check back often!


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