2017 Best Home Energy Monitors – Pricing and Reviews


As electricity prices have increased and solar and electric vehicles become more popular, many consumers are considering adding a home energy monitoring system. These devices provide real-time visibility into energy usage and some provide more granular appliance level data.

These devices may seem expensive at upwards of $400 for models with solar capabilities, but used properly they can save up to 30% of energy costs, so can pay for themselves in less than a year if you have an above average utility bill.

There are a range of models and features, so OhmHome has compiled this guide on the best home energy monitoring systems after spending over 35 hours researching public data, testing products in the field and talking to consumers.

Our Summary Recommendation

While we normally like to recommend one model to simplify the decision for consumers, home energy monitors monitors have a wider range of capabilities, so the best model is very specific to your objectives.

If you just want the basics at a low cost, we think the EyeDro Home Electricity Monitor at under $130 offers the best value with an easy installation. If you want device level monitoring and do not have solar, the Smappee or Sense are comparable and if you do have solar, the CURB is a similar option to Smappee or Sense with their solar add-ons.

Home energy monitors is a developing product category, so in the coming years it will be clearer which of these companies takes the lead.

Best Home Energy Monitors 2017: Overview

Home Energy Monitors: Comparison

ModelSnapshotSpecial Features 
The Neurio Home Energy MonitorBest-seller with excellent monitoring, good fit if appliance-level monitoring is not a focus Bill forecasting feature, smart phone monitoring app Prices
CURB Home Energy Monitoring SystemExcellent for connecting to smart home controls and solar systemsAppliance level detection, integration with SmartThings, can control electronics Prices
Sense Energy MonitorGood monitoring interface, but appliance level data is lackingAmazon Alexa skill, small appliance monitoring, solar add-on Prices
EyeDro Home Electricity MonitorLow cost alternative with only the basicsOnline monitoring Prices
Smappee Home Energy MonitorExcellent monitoring, but appliance-level detail is lackingSolar add-on, smart phone app, free “comfort plug” Prices
Ted
Pro Home Electricity Monitor
Pricier model compared to models with similar featuresCircuit-level detail, solar add-on option, connects to Alexa Prices

Home Energy Monitors 101

There are multiple ways to monitor energy usage and in this review we will cover home energy monitors that connect directly into a home’s electrical panel.  It is important to note that home energy monitors are a relatively new technology, so even the popular models have not perfected an easy and intuitive installation and reliable granular appliance-level data.  Most models are priced in the $250 range, but will increase to $400 or so if you want to connect to your solar system.

Solar Connectivity: If solar connectivity is important to you, note that the Neurio, Sense, CURB and Smappee all have solar capabilities (CURB is the only model that includes it as a base feature).  

If you are on the fence about spending the money for a home energy monitoring system, we recommend experimenting with outlet level monitors.  The most popular model is the Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor, which costs less than $30 and can plug-in directly to an outlet to measure a specific appliances usage. There are also similarly priced models that can be monitored and controlled through Amazon Alexa, including the TP-Link Smart Plug.

2017 Best Home Energy Monitors: Detailed Reviews

CURB Home Energy Monitoring System – Excellent for connecting to smart home controls and solar systems

The CURB Home Energy monitors six dimensions of real-time energy usage data at 8,000 times per second and comes with 18 dedicated hardware sensors for accurate appliance-level data. CURB is WiFi connected and comes with a smart phone app that provides information and control of appliances via Samsung’s SmartThings API.

There is also a desktop dashboard for historical trends, notifications of abnormal events, and personalized weekly emails. CURB was founded in 2013 and raised $180,000 through IndieGogo.

Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Appliance-level detection
  • Base model is solar ready (vs. add-on for other models)
  • Integration with SmartThings
  • Remote control of devices
Cons
  • Historical reporting is lacking in detail
  • Start-up backed with some minor “kinks” to work out

Sense Energy Monitor – Good monitoring interface, but appliance level data is lacking

Image Credit: Sense

The Sense Energy Monitor provides real-time electricity usage visibility, including at the appliance-level (although accuracy at the appliance level is not perfect).

The device comes with a smart phone monitoring app that also provides notifications. The company uses an advanced machine learning detection algorithm to distinguish individual appliances. The algorithm looks at current trends (vs. pure wattage) and matches that with current patterns of common devices (a toaster for example).

The main feature of the monitoring system is the “Now” screen which shows your current electricity usage and bubbles for each device using electricity. The bubbles are scaled to the power usage and will adjust overtime as Sense picks up more devices. You can drill into any of the bubbles to see how much power that device has used overtime.

The Sense Energy Monitor was built by the team that brought advanced speech recognition technology to mobile phones including voice search, text messaging and dictation, so we expect to see more exciting product improvements from the company.

Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Solar monitoring feature add-on
  • Connects to Alexa for voice-activated monitoring
  • Appliance level monitoring for low outputs (5W – 10W)
Cons
  • Does not allow for device control
  • Accuracy of appliance level data is limited

EyeDro Home Electricity Monitor – Low cost alternative with only the basics

The Eyedro Home Electricity Monitor monitors real-time electricity usage and is a lower-cost alternative if you do not need all the features of other models. Eyedro also offers a package for businesses

The unit comes with two 200A sensors that connect directly to the electrical panel. The device requires a direct ethernet connection (10 ft cable comes with the unit) which connects two separate devices. Consumers report that the unit is very easy to install.

Although the company does not currently offer a smart phone app, the online monitoring is mobile friendly.

 Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Good value
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • Does not have appliance-level monitoring
  • Needs a direct ethernet connection
  • No smart phone app

Smappee Home Energy Monitor – Excellent monitoring, but appliance-level detail is lacking

The Smappee energy monitor gives you real-time data on the electricity use and cost in your home. The model offers a smartphone app and appliance-level visibility, although device-level detection is limited. The Smappee app sends messages, warnings and tips and tricks for a more efficient energy use.

The Smappee app is very similar to the Sense app as it has a real-time view at the device level. Similar to the Sense, it can take time (weeks or months) for the Smappee to detect individual devices and accuracy can be limited even after a device has been identified.

In September 2017, Smappee just introduced a very cool feature for its solar monitoring add-on.  The Smappee allows solar customers to actualize the production of SolarCoins, a cryptocurrency that is tied to solar production and can be traded on exchanges.

Smappee was founded in 2012 and is based in Belgium. The company was the first to offer device level detection and has also expanded into water and gas monitoring.

Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Solar add-on feature for an extra $100
  • Detailed app and web reporting
  • Comes with a free “Comfort Plug”
Cons
  • Wireless can disconnect frequently
  • Appliance-level data accuracy is limited
  • Set up can require troubleshooting

The Neurio Home Energy Monitor – Best-seller with excellent monitoring, good fit if appliance-level monitoring is not a focus 

The Neurio Home Energy Monitor is a whole home electricity monitoring system that tells you where and when energy is being consumed around your home.

After installing the single sensor, you can get your finger on your home’s energy pulse with the easy-to-use iOS, Android and web apps to track your power usage in real-time. Neurio estimates that the app can help homeowners save up to 20% of energy each year and provides smart energy saving tips, home comparisons and historical usage.  The device attaches to the home’s electrical panel and installation does not require any wire cutting and takes about 15 minutes.

The Neurio is installed in over 100,000 homes and is the most popular model.  An expansion kit can also be purchased for monitoring solar production and net metering.

Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Monitoring can be accessed via the web or smart phone app
  • Real-time energy monitoring – the app updates within minutes
Cons
  • Reports of slow customer service when issues arise
  • Appliance detection add-on feature is not very accurate
  • Appliance detection limited to over 400W devices

Ted Pro Home Electricity Monitor – Pricier model compared to models with similar features

The Ted Pro Home Electricity Monitor connects to your electric panel and can be purchased with the Energy Detective Spyder Mix Current Transformer ($150) to monitor circuit-level data.

 Pros/Cons

Pros
  • Solar add-on option
  • Only monitor that measures Voltage, Power Factor, and Current
  • Connects to Alexa
Cons
  • Pricier than other models with comparable features
  • Does not come with a smart-phone app

 

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