How to Check & Measure Your Electricity Usage

The following energy monitoring devices offer the quickest and easiest way to understand electricity usage.

The product you need depends on what you want to find out:

  1. If you wish to monitor any plug-in appliance like a fridge or TV, use a Power Meter.
  2. Use an Energy Monitor to track an entire property, such as a home or small business.
  3. To measure something like a granny flat or EV charger, you'll need a Sub Meter.

Checking and measuring your electricity usage is surprisingly straightforward once you know how.

1. How to Measure the Electricity Usage of Appliances

A hairdryer, kettle, and mobile phone charger have one thing in common: a standard power plug. Using a plug-in power meter, you can measure anything with a 10-amp power plug.

You plug the power meter into an electrical outlet and then plug your appliance into it. It will show you a variety of informative readings including watts, kilowatt-hours, and cost.

We currently sell these plug-in power meters:

Reduction Revolution Power Meter

Reduction Revolution Power Meter

This low-cost option does the job for all ad-hoc monitoring around the home. It's our most popular choice thanks to its compact size and ease of use.

Powertech Meter

Powertech Power Meter

This unit has a small but separate display screen on the end of a 1.5-metre power cord. The cord makes it easy to access even when connected to power outlets obscured by appliances or furniture.

Smart Plug

Smart Plug With Energy Monitor

This is the product for you if you'd prefer an app-based solution rather than a physical display screen. The benefit of the smart plug is that it's not just for measuring - you can also switch appliances on and off.

Power-Mate

Power-Mate Lite (10A)

The Power-Mate is a professional tool for energy auditors, electricians, and tech enthusiasts. Unlike our other power meters, it projects values into the future per hour, week, quarter and year for easy cost predictions.

15A Power Meter

Power-Mate 15A

Used only for measuring 15 amp appliances found in commercial kitchens, caravan parks, and elsewhere. 15A plugs are identifiable by their larger earth pin.

Powersensor Plug

Powersensor Plug

This power meter is an add-on to the Powersensor whole-home energy monitoring system - more on these below.


2. How to Check the Electricity Usage of a Home or Small Business

You'll soon realise that plug-in power meters miss some critical energy users that are 'hard-wired' or inaccessible, such as:

  • Lighting,
  • Air Conditioners,
  • Ceiling Fans,
  • Solar PV Panels,
  • Outdoor Spas,
  • Electric Hot Water Systems.

To track the electricity consumption of these items, you'll need to install an electricity usage monitor. Energy monitors give you a real-time display of your total power consumption. They are typically installed at your main electricity meter board.

We sell these wireless energy monitoring options:

Powerpal

Powerpal

This device can be self-installed on any 'smart' or digital electricity meter. Powerpal tracks your usage on your phone with an app. Powerpal uses long-range Bluetooth to communicate between the sensor and your phone.

Efergy E-Max

Efergy E-Max

This stand-alone power monitor does not require an internet connection or wifi to work. It has a large display screen, and you can download historical usage data via USB. It's suitable for use at single, two, or three-phase properties.

Powersensor

Powersensor

This energy monitor (and app) is ideal for households with solar panels. Powersensor connects to your wifi network to operate. It has three configurations:

  • Energy Monitoring Base Kit
  • Essentials Solar Kit - using the same hardware as above, this kit will report basic information about your solar system if present (net metering).
  • Advanced Solar Monitor - this system measures your solar output separately from your main power supply. It can provide the most comprehensive solar data, including total solar power production, self-consumption, and more.

NOTE: Powersensor currently only works with single-phase households.


3. How to Measure Electricity Consumption for On-billing (Or Similar)

Another issue you may encounter is the need to meter power usage in a particular area or for a large appliance. Use-cases include:

  • Buildings like a granny flat, workshop or shed,
  • Accommodation or tenancies like rooms, cabins, or sites,
  • Large electrical loads like EV chargers, air conditioners, or hot water systems.

The good thing about these areas is that they usually have their own power circuit. This makes them an ideal candidate for an electrical sub-meter. An electrical sub-meter allows you to meter a circuit or group of circuits for the purpose of on-billing (or being better informed).

We offer two types of electricity sub-meters:

kWh Sub Meter

MATelec Sub Meters (NMI Approved)

These electricity sub-meters are NMI-approved, which means they are billing-grade. We recommend using these if you want a high-quality solution or if you will be using the data to on-bill a third party, such as a sub-tenant. They come in two sizes:

  1. Single Phase 100A
  2. Three Phase 100A
Electrical Sub Meter

LANX Australis kWh Sub-Meters

Our LANX sub-meters offer a more affordable solution that suits many users. Their accuracy is similar to the MATelec meters, without the formal NMI approval. They come in three size options:

  1. Single Phase 45A
  2. Single Phase 80A
  3. Three Phase 100A

Still got questions?

Click here to browse our entire range of power meters, energy monitors and thermal cameras.

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