Each month, my husband and I prepare ourselves for the shock that will inevitably come from opening our utility bill: Will it be reasonable? Will we be able to go out to eat this month? Did we unplug the TV each night? Why is our bill so high?
Enter Bidgely’s HomeBeat Energy Monitor, an energy analytics tool that helps homeowners keep track of their energy usage. Why would anyone care to monitor their energy usage? To help prevent shock every month! The cloud-based monitor sends information about your energy usage to a smartphone to help you keep track of things — down to individual appliances — so that you can understand which appliances use the most energy. Knowing this can help homeowners unplug a little more — and knowing which appliances are the biggest power hogs. You can also determine if, say, you left the AC on before leaving for work.
My favorite feature of the energy monitor is that you don’t have to plug in each appliance to any devices — the energy monitor is a plug-and-play device of sorts. And, if you love competition, the monitor can also send you information about how your appliances’ usage compares with that of your neighbor’s.
The one drawback to this monitor is that if your utility company does not support Bidgely’s service, you’ll have to purchase a separate (likely, more pricey) monitor, like the Eagle Zigbee Gateway (with Bidgey) that is compatible with the service. You’ll still get the same great information, but it requires a little more work than simply buying the Bidgely monitor and signing up online.
The energy monitor provides homeowners (and even renters) more access to information that can help save them money in the long run. Because homeowners can quickly and easily understand their energy usage down to the last penny, they’ll be better prepared to make decisions that will save them money. It’s time for us to enjoy getting mail again — Bidgely’s HomeBeat Energy Monitor is a first step to doing that.
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.