An Introduction Into REMP
Research and pilot studies over the last few years into electricity monitoring within a residential environment in Australia, have proven time and time again in-home electricity monitoring equipment, with a easy clear to read display, helps the householder reduce electricity costs.
Major driving factors to reducing energy costs, as a result of the visualisation of real-time electricity usage and costs are:
- An increased awareness of electricity usage and costs
- The ability to self educate and take action
- Malfunctioning appliances are more easily discovered
Whilst all homes will benefit from having a in-home electricity monitoring display, in a suitable easy to see location, the benefits have been found to be increased where the home is suffering financial hardship.
It is with a focus on this select group of residential housing, that Local Councils in the past have sought Government funding, to install energy reduction monitoring.
The goal of any REMP is to collate data from a small group of homes, with the same data helping to create assistance plans, to help similar homes which are not being monitored.
Residential Electricity Monitoring Hardware
Any suitable electricity monitoring hardware, can be made up of cable clamp and plug-in style transmitters for data collection. This data is then transmitted to the central electricity monitor display unit, where the information is easily seen in realtime by anyone in the home, also showing a limited historical display of costs and energy used so far.
A standard home will have around twelve main circuits / appliances that can be monitored. This is based on the findings of other residential monitoring projects in Australia and our research.
For analysis of the electricity monitor's data, there needs to be either a standalone PC connected to the monitor for a short time period to download the monitor's stored data, or an automatic upload of data in realtime to the internet via a modem connection.
The electricity monitoring data collected is useful when it shows the usage and costs over predetermined periods. Such data as daily, weekly, monthly, yearly energy usage and costs, with averages and seasonal changes.
Data displayed in both tabular or graphical format for easy analysis, will be required by the project manager for a better understanding.
Required Features Of A REMP Electricity Monitor
The electricity monitoring system should be able to,
This has been found to be a great way to introduce the occupants to how the monitoring system works and some of the usage and cost that are present in the home.
One very important goal of realtime electricity monitoring, is to promote awareness. Effectiveness is increased when the householders can easily see electricity usage and costs at a glance, even when they are occupied with other duties. This easy to see realtime data is a proven way to create fast change, in the shortest time.
Where realtime data is sent to an Iphone app for example, the event is easily missed, if the mobile device is not being checked at that time.
Benefits To The Householder
A local Council may choose to install an electricity monitoring system at no cost to the householder. Not one but all of the occupants of the home are instantly able to see their live electricity usage and projected power costs in real-time, when the data is easily seen on an easy to read LCD screen. A screen sited in a common thoroughfare, such as the kitchen or living room. And more than one monitor can be installed to maximise the awareness.
A monitor also allows for the separation of user interaction, as such from a mobile device or computer screen. This separation enables policy makers to assess with greater accuracy the energy impact of the monitoring itself.
REMP Project Time
A local Council may choose to run the energy saving project for six months or more, to get basic feedback and usage patterns and costs from the real-time electricity monitoring system. Longer project times are more suited where changes to usage habits can be analysed and learned by the householder.
This minimum time of six months for any residential electricity monitoring project, is best when it covers two quarterly electricity bills, thus giving the householders enough time to see real results and real savings.
The main aim of any residential electricity monitoring program is to collect data, to accurately estimate the electricity usage of the home and have sufficient data to allow for the findings to be applied to other unmonitored households.
It is important to document any standby electricity occurring in the home and focus on these appliances. For such appliances plug-in style monitors can be used, to feed the data back to the central electricity monitoring system.
Hot water usage can be monitored also, but as this often occurs on a off-peak tariff, it is itemised on the electricity bill as a separate component. Knowing this usage and cost from the power bill means that monitoring is not really going to uncover any new areas of concern.
Pie Chart Showing Time Of Use Related Power Consumption
Individual power and lighting circuits can be monitored, to give an insight to the components of the total usage for the home.
Common circuits / appliances commonly monitored during the REMP are total usage, cooking, laundry, heater and entertainment, noting standby electricity where possible.
The development of any policy for reduced electricity consumption in residential properties relies on a detailed understanding of energy usage, consumption and user interaction. The latter being the key determinant, to actual appliance energy consumption.
Standalone Or Online Collection Of REMP Data
Most electricity monitoring systems operate with wireless transmitters sending data to a central LCD electricity monitor. This central LCD monitor is the core of the residential electricity monitoring project.
Especially important where lower social economic householders are involved, as it is going to be their main connection with any feedback on their energy usage and costs.
Not all homes will be connected to the internet to support the automatic uploading of e energy data.
Using a wireless system with automatic uploads though, does avoid the need for visits to the home to download data from the monitor to a laptop. Where standalone monitoring is chosen over online, then site visits will be an important part of the project. And so will monitoring software and portable computer connectivity. This kind of program is best suited where the homes are in close proximity to each other.
Aussie Home Energy's Solutions For Your REMP
We hope you are looking for the hardware for your household energy monitoring program and you may also be looking for certain areas to be managed by a third party.
We can supply you with the monitoring hardware and information relating to,
- The overall project management
- Project design – including hardware selection
- Data collection from the monitoring equipment
- Analysis and interpretation of the data collected
Supported Monitoring Hardware Platforms
Visit CHOOSING YOUR ENERGY MONITOR page for more detailed help on selecting your monitoring hardware platform.