Living with an Onzo electricity monitor

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onzo-electricity-monitorLast week I gave you my review on setting up an Onzo electricity monitor. After setting it up, what was it like to live with this monitor for a week?

The Good

Display. Very simple display and easy to understand. Little Miss Green loves it and Mr green can see the display without his glasses.

Robust unit. The display is made from very thick plastic, a bit like a child’s toy; it fits nicely in the hand and you don’t have to worry about the kids messing around with it because it’s unlikely to break.

Simple to understand. The unit shows four symbols across the top which are highlighted if necessary – it shows:

Alert – When you are using a lot of energy (this gives you the opportunity to scout around and ensure nothing has been left on)

Grid watch – shows when national demand for electricity is high (gives you the opportunity to tae personal responsibility and turn things off if possible to reduce load)

Target Track – shows when you are no longer on track to meet your household target

Base Check – This is the one to aim for as much as possible; basically you are using the minimum amount of energy to run your home.

The bad

Confusing data? On two occasions the warning appeared that we were no longer on track to meet our personal household target. The thing is, we’d used less than 3 kWh of our daily 16 or so. I simply didn’t understand why this warning came on. On one day it stayed on for around 5 hours before going off.

The ugly

Backing. The back doesn’t fit properly. It easily comes off which means you can’t use the back as a magnet to attach it to the fridge (the back separates from the unit) AND the settings and battery are exposed to curious minds and little fingers.

Verdict

The Onzo is a pretty welcome house guest. It behaves itself and gives you the info you need when you need it. There are no gimmicks that you don’t use and it is simple to understand which means it’s suitable for all.

Next week we’ll connect it up to the computer and see how easy it is to synch before giving a verdict the following week on how much electricity we’ve saved (or not!)

Do you use a ‘real time’ electricity monitor at home? Has it saved you money?

1 Comment

  1. Nazima on March 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    What a great tool, my electricity (and gas) bills have soared post baby, seeing as she is in all day…



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