Power Meters & Switchboard Sub Meters

Power meters or energy meters measure the electricity consumption of:

  • Individual appliances - with a plug-in power meter, or
  • Entire electrical circuits - with a hard-wired kWh sub-meter.

Plug-in Power Usage Meters

Plug-in power meters measure the electricity usage of individual appliances. Devices like the Kill-A-Watt in the USA and Power-Mate in Australia made this possible for the first time in the early 2000's. Before these became available, you needed to be an electrical boffin to understand your power usage.

Power meters allow you to check power consumption (in Watts) and/or electricity usage over time (in kWh). Some power meters also track cost, voltage, current, frequency, power factor, and more.

Reduction Revolution has been selling power meters for many years. They help you understand which appliances use the most energy. Our regular Power Meter is suitable for the vast majority of customers. The 15A Power-Mate is suitable for customers with 15A power outlets including electric vehicle chargers, caravans, and commercial kitchens.

Plug-in power meters are an educational device. They help you understand high electricity bills and make more informed decisions. If you intend to charge someone for their electricity usage, you need to look at a slightly different solution: the sub meter.

Switchboard kWh Sub Meters

A sub-meter goes a step further and tracks the usage of an entire circuit or area of a property. They are installed at the main electricity switchboard, meter board or sub-board (distribution board).

Sub Meters are more useful than plug-in Power Meter in three main situations:

  1. The device or area you wish to track is on a dedicated circuit (rather than a single power point).
  2. You want to monitor this device or area with more accuracy and reliability than an energy monitor.
  3. You want to on-bill or charge a customer, tenant, or family member for their power usage.

Examples where you may use a Plug-in Power Meter:

  • Check TV standby electricity usage.
  • Measure refrigerator or freezer power consumption.
  • Monitor the operating cost of electric heaters.
  • Energy audit a pool pump's power draw.
  • Check how much a kettle or coffee machine costs to run.
  • Spot check the power usage of plug-in LED light.
  • Find out how much a clothes dryer, clothes washer, or dishwasher load costs.

Examples where you may use a Switchboard Sub Meter:

  • Meter an electric vehicle car charger.
  • Track a separate dwelling's power usage such as a granny flat or holiday cabin.
  • Meter individual boat marina or caravan park powered site's electricity usage.
  • On-bill a commercial office building sub-tenant.
  • Accurately measure a workshop or shed's power.
  • Separately meter business energy usage at a residential property (studio or garage).
  • Track a commercial lighting circuit's energy usage pre- and post- lighting upgrade.

See also: Energy Usage Monitors, Thermal Imaging Cameras.

See all Power Meters & Switchboard Sub Meters.

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