How to set-up & use the Plug-in Power Meter
Power Meter Instructions
Firstly, remove the plastic battery tab at the back of the Power Meter. This allows data to be stored and reviewed even when it is not plugged in. It also allows you to complete the steps below without having the meter plugged into a wall socket.
Clock Time Set-up
- Press for 2 seconds & release the CLOCK button to set.
- Press UP to increase the value.
- Press SET to save & move to the next digit.
- Press OK to save the time.
Single Tariff Set-up
- Press for 2 seconds & release the COST button.
- Press the UP button to choose your currency symbol then press OK to set.
- Press OK to choose TARIFF 1 and press UP to change the value.
- Press SET to save & move to the next digit.
- Repeat the process until you have entered each digit. Press OK twice to exit.
Dual Tariff Set-up
- Enter set-up as above, but press UP when TARIFF 1 appears to switch to the DUAL TARIFF setting, then press OK.
- Press UP to set the cost for TARIFF 1 and then press SET to move on to the next digit.
- Press OK to change the start time.
- Press OK and use the same process to set the cost and start time for TARIFF 2.
- Press OK to exit after setting the time.
Clock & Run Time Display
Press CLOCK to switch between clock time (clock icon) and run time (no icon) in the top part of the display screen. The 'run time' reading will accrue as long as the appliance is drawing more than 2W of power. The run time can be reset by pressing SET and CLOCK at the same time.
Cost Display & How to Reset Readings
Press COST to review the following details in the middle part of the display screen:
- $/Etc - Total cost since last reset. To reset press SET and COST at the same time.
- kWh - Total energy usage since last reset. To reset this along with Max W & Min W press SET and UP at the same time.
- kgCO2 - Cumulative CO2 emissions at a pre-set value. Resets with kWh as above.
- TARIFF 1 & 2 - per 'Tariff Set-up' above.
Press ENERGY to review the following details in the bottom part of the display screen:
- W - Instantaneous power draw in Watts.
- V - Mains voltage in Volts.
- Hz - Grid frequency in Hertz.
- A - Current flow in Amps.
- Power Factor - Decimal between 0 and 1.
- Max W - Highest power draw in Watts.
- Min W - Lowest non-zero power draw.
- Overload - Optional overload setting. ‘Overload’ will flash when power draw exceeds this value. Press for 2 seconds & release ENERGY to adjust.
Four Common Power Meter Usage Examples
1) Appliances that switch on and off all day (like refrigerators & pumps).
Plug the appliance into the power meter for at least 24 hours. Note the total kWh used and compare this to the average on your power bill (kWh/day). An appliance that uses 1kWh in 24 hours, on a 10kWh/day bill, represents about 10% of total power usage.
Got a drinks fridge that doesn't need to be on at all hours? A plug-in timer can solve that.
2) Appliances that complete a set process (like kettles, dishwashers & washing machines).
These can be reviewed over one full cycle. In this way the running cost of different settings can be checked, such as a 'hot wash' versus a 'cold wash'. Review total kWh used and total cost at the end of each test.
Did you know: temperature set-points are a major factor in energy usage. Use a thermometer to check and adjust your settings.
3) Appliances that are used for a set time period (like heaters & computers).
These can be reviewed over their typical usage time. If you normally use the TV for 4 hours in the evening, measuring it over this period will indicate its contribution to your power bill.
Found an energy guzzling heater? See our range of energy efficient heating & cooling options..
4) Electronics that are on all day in standby (like TVs & stereos).
Spot check how much power these items use in Watts. Anything drawing above a few watts constantly can be switched off at the wall when not needed.
These timers and standby controllers are ideal for switching off standby loads.
Want to dig deeper into your energy usage?
The Plug-in Power Meter described above is ideal for assessing any plug-in appliances. But understanding your energy usage can go well beyond this, here are some examples:
- Wireless Energy Monitors - these devices allow you to track your whole site's energy usage. They're ideal for picking up large loads that the plug-in power meter will miss, like air conditioning and lighting.
- Thermal Imaging Cameras - these devices allow you to 'see' in the infrared (heat energy) spectrum. This can uncover electrical faults, missing insulation, water leaks, and many other issues in buildings.
- Other Power Meters - options include hard-wired 'sub meters' for on-billing, meters with wifi connectivity (Efergy Ego), or a 15A power meter.