Product provided for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Living in a newer house has its perks. When we bought our home in 2012, I wanted to make sure it had the highest energy efficiency rating we could afford. Since we purchased a new build, thankfully they had to follow the latest building codes and guidelines which meant more insulation, better windows, Energy Star appliances, etc.
And I think it paid off. With almost 1,000 square feet more than our last home, our light bills are lower. I credit that to the fact that I’m very diligent about teaching my children to turn off lights, we are very conservative with the temperature inside our home, and when we aren’t using something, we always try to remember to unplug it. However, I’m more lenient on the latter because I really don’t like the idea of the kids constantly messing with the electrical cords. But if my husband and I noticed something, we will unplug it if not in use.
When it comes to the light bill, I’ve always wondered what contributes most to our energy output. If I had to guess, I’m assuming it’s the air conditioner. After the air conditioner, I would guess that our electrical appliances are second. Since we have a refrigerator/freezer unit plus an additional freezer in the garage, I’m sure we use quite a bit of energy there.
Those are pretty obvious. But what about the other things that you use in your home that you really don’t pay any attention to. Like the television, or the table lamp.
What is Plug2Know?
Cymbrio has developed a simple, affordable home energy management device that provides you with the information you need to make informed decisions regarding energy consumption. It’s a small device that easily plugs in to an electrical outlet to give you a reading on the current output. I decided to see how much electricity we were using with all our entertainment options in the living room.
I plugged in the Plug2Know and plugged in the power strip for the television, Apple TV, DVD, sound, etc. I wanted to see how much all that was costing per month. After letting it calculate for a few days, I decided to sneak a peek to see the reading on the unit. After scooting over the DVD player, there were three amber lights displaying from the unit.
According to Cymbrio, the lights on the unit move from green to amber to red as the energy cost increases. There are five LEDs across the top of the Plug2Know unit. The LED furthest to the left is the Range LED. The other four LEDs are the Consumption LEDs. Each color range has four levels that are indicated by how many LEDs are illuminated.
For example, the Range LED on my unit in the living room is empty, with three amber Consumption LEDs illuminated. That means that the devices plugged into the unit are consuming a low amount of energy. According the Energy Cost Look-Up Table provided by Cymbrio, it’s costing us a little over $4.31 for that outlet alone.
And that is when everything is turned off. I left the DVD where I could see the unit behind the entertainment center, and when everything is on and running, the amber lights turn red meaning we are using even more energy which means it’s costing us even more.
Having the Plug2Know units in my home have really opened up my eyes to the money we are spending even when we don’t realize it. It’s been a great conversation starter with the children so that they can see even the smallest things can add up over time.
At right around $25 a unit (snag one now for the introductory price of $19.95), it’s an inexpensive way to see where you can cut back. There is a package with multiple units, but really one is all you need. It can easily be moved from outlet to outlet throughout the home. Once you know the energy output of one outlet, move the unit to the next.
Where do you think you’re using the most energy in your home?