Watts Clever Plug-in Power Meter
With the Watts Clever Power Meter you can measure power consumption and usage cost of any plug-in appliance.
The Power Meter will help you uncover your most energy hungry appliances. Then you can get started on reducing your power bills!
You could save $100's by using this Power Meter
Here are some energy guzzlers and associated savings identified with this power consumption meter:
- A standard desktop computer set-up was found to use 22 watts in standby (costing $40 per year when it was not even being used).
- Reducing a particular pool pump's run-time by just two hours per day saved $237 per year.
- A sound system's sub-woofer was using 10 watts in standby (costing $20 per year unused).
- A dishwasher's lower temperature setting used 0.4 kWh less per load saving the household $36 per year.
See the Power Meter in action:
"I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the Steplight Power Meter was to use. It appears to be reasonably accurate, unlike some other power meters. I've identified the real power hogs in my house, and have taken steps to make sure that they're always off when not in use."
- Ben (Beldon, Western Australia)
Power Consumption Meter - Specifications
This power meter measures the power consumption of any appliance plugged into a standard power outlet.
It can also measure a group of appliances plugged into a single power board. Use it to uncover how much each of your appliances cost to run.
- Measures from 1 to 2,400 watts.
- Also reports usage in kilo-watt hours (kWh) - what you are billed for.
- Tracks actual cost by entering your electricity tariff.
- Measures voltage, current, Power Factor and frequency (50 or 60Hz).
- Displays watts (W) and voltage (V) to one decimal place. It shows kilowatt-hours (kWh) and current in amps (A) to three decimal places.
"It's working brilliantly. I now know that my TV uses far more power in standby than I expected!"
- Nic (Masterton, New Zealand)
It also has these additional features:
- In-built timer to track appliance run-time.
- Internal battery ensures data is not lost when unplugged.
- Accuracy of measurements are +/- 1%.
- Power consumption of the meter is less than 0.5 watts
- It can be used with an extension cord
"Easy to read, simple to set. Good product. Thanks!"
- Richard (Vasse, Western Australia)
This is an accurate Power Meter
The Power Meter pictured on the left has been spotted at major hardware stores, supermarkets and online. It is usually priced between $20 and $40. But, it is not reliably accurate (and the screen is hard to read). It can miss sizeable electrical loads (falsely reporting 0 consumption), while others are overstated.
For example, we have seen a 5 watt load displayed as 30 watts on this less accurate power meter.
On the other hand, the Steplight / Watts Clever power consumption meter described above has the benefit of being relatively inexpensive and accurate.
- Bradley (Urangan, Queensland)
Alternative options for extended data logging or sub-metering
Although this item represents excellent value, it is not the best choice for every power monitoring application. For example, it is not designed to be left plugged in for long periods on individual appliances. It is designed to spot check and review the power consumption of appliances for up to a few days on each appliance at most.
- If you wish to monitor power consumption over extended periods we recommend the Efergy Ego wifi power socket.
- If you're after a professional tool for frequent usage we recommend the Power Mate Lite.
- If you actually require a solution to on-bill a sub tenant we recommend one of our electrical sub meters.
- If you want to capture your entire property's energy usage (rather than individual appliances), then check out our range of wireless energy monitors.
Power Consumption Meter Support & FAQ
Does it come with instructions?
Yes - the unit comes with printed instructions. Click here to download the power meter user manual (PDF).
How accurate are the readings?
The Power Meter has been tested against high-end power meters such as the Power-Mate (which we also sell). The readings of actual power consumption (Watts) from the Power Meter are comparable to those produced by the Power-Mate. The main difference is that the Power-Mate units produce very high accuracy readings to multiple decimal points and have a different user interface.
What is the lowest power consumption it can measure?
The lowest readings we have seen are for small power supplies (about 0.5 to 1 Watt). The Power Mate Lite, on the other hand, will read down to 0.01 Watts.
How many tariffs can be entered?
Only one electricity tariff can be entered. If you are on time-of-use billing we suggest entering an average tariff rate for your premises. See also our 'Wireless Energy Monitors' which can track multiple tariffs for whole-of-site monitoring.
I’m not getting a response from my meter, is it faulty?
Sometimes, when using the power meter for the first time, the internal rechargeable battery needs to charge up. Simply plug your power meter into a power point that is switched on without an appliance attached. After a few hours of charging, plug an appliance into the power meter and press reset. It should be working as normal. If not, please contact us.
How does the clock / timer work?
The clock will initially show Minutes : Seconds, and then Hours : Minutes after one minute has passed.
After 1 day the 24 hour timer resets to 0 and ’1′ is added to the Day counter. To see the total appliance run-time go to the ‘kWh’ screen where total Days are displayed in addition to the 24 hour timer. For example, after 55 hours of an appliance using more than 0 watts it will read 2 Day and 07:00.
Why does the timer stop?
The timer will stop accumulating when the plugged-in appliance drops to 0 watts.
You can use this feature to measure actual run-time of appliances. For example, you can plug your fridge in for 24 hours and observe the clock to see how much of that time the compressor was actually running. This is great for troubleshooting ‘problem’ loads around your home.
The Timer, Cost and kWh will all continue to accumulate until you reset the readings. If you need a timer that keeps running the entire time, we suggest the Power Mate Lite.
Is the cost set in dollars or cents?
The cost isn’t pre-set to cents or dollars, it is just a number (’00.00′), so you can set it however you like.
For example, if your electricity rate is 20c per kWh we recommend setting the price at ’00.20′ (as in $00.20), rather than ’20.00′ (as in 20.00 cents).
Does the Power Meter measure Real Power?
Yes - the Power Meter measures ‘Real Power’ – which is what you are billed for. Power is measured instantaneously in Watts (W) and over time in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Other cheap power meters do not perform measurements accurately and do not always display real power.
The power meter will show you (among other things): Volts (V), Amps (A), Power Factor and Real Power (W). This is how you calculate real power in watts (don’t worry, the meter does this for you!)
- Volts x Amps x Power Factor (as a fraction of 1) = Watts
- 250 volts x 0.7 amps x 0.60 power factor = 105 Watts (Real Power)
- 250 volts x 0.7 amps = 175 VA (Apparent Power)
You can see from the above example why getting this calculation right is important. Other power meters sometimes fail to do this correctly.
If analysing this information is important to you we suggest buying the Power Mate Lite which displays all of this data (amps, volts, VA, and Watts) on one screen.