If you’re like everyone else who owns a mobile device, you’re probably using it a whole lot more than you used to. And why not? Smartphones can do nearly as much as your favorite PC, but without the tether that usually goes along-side a traditional desktop. Maybe you’re responding to work emails, reading today’s news, texting friends and family about dinner plans, or (more often than not) fulfilling that insatiable Netflix addiction.
But did you know that you can also catch up on your home’s electricity use from your smartphone? Lots of our customers enjoy checking MyEyedro from their mobile browsers, but there’s an even easier way to keep an eye on your electricity use while you’re on the go.
Here are a few simple instructions on how to add MyEyedro to your smartphone’s Home Screen.
Step 1: Open Safari and visit http://myeyedro.com. If the mobile version doesn’t automatically display, click “Try our mobile friendly version.” When you get to the mobile friendly version, click the symbol that looks like a square with an arrow coming out of it (let’s just call it: “doodad”).
Step 2: Tap “Add to Home Screen”. Feel free to rename your link as you see fit, and then tap “Add”.
Step 3: That was easy wasn’t it? You should now see the MyEyedro “app” located on your Home Screen. Tap the icon to enter MyEyedro and proceed to login. Remember to tap the green arrow if you would like the app to remember your login information for next time.
Step 4: Go somewhere, anywhere. Have a cocktail. You’re free to check your electricity from anywhere. Now you just have to remember your phone.
If you’re like us, winter caught you a bit off guard. With an unseasonably warm Fall, winterizing the house was the last item on the list of things to do.
Fast forward to January 2015 and winter looks like this:
Someone flipped the Snowmaggedon switch and it looks like winter is back with a vengeance. So if you’re looking for some low cost ways to winterize your home in a flash, look no further.
We’ve curated 5 easy ways to winterize your home on the fly.
1. Destroy The Drafts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Test your windows for leaks and drafts by holding a lit candle in front of them. If the smoke from the candle swirls, here’s what you can do:
Put Up Some Plastic: Remember when people used to shrink wrap their windows? Turns out it wasn’t as ridiculous as it looks. This stuff can help a room to retain as much as 55% of its heat.
Bust Out the Caulking: Seal everything with this energy saving goop. Check out this handy how to video on how to properly caulk your windows and doors.
2. Take Control of the Thermostat
Let’s be really honest with ourselves here, we love tinkering with the thermostat. Case and point. But if we are truly looking to be efficient with how we heat our home this winter, here are a few things to consider:
Lower the Temperature: You can shave 1% off your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat down during the winter. Boom, instant savings.
Get a Programmable Thermostat: Turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a night can save you 5% to 15% on heating costs. You can automate this process with smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee.
Bundle Up: Winter sucks, and running around the house in shorts and a t-shirt can help us feel a little closer to summer. Unfortunately, it also causes us to crank up the thermostat. So seriously, put on a sweater and some slippers.
3. Master Home Maintenance
Just like a car, a house has a sophisticated system of parts which require some occasional upkeep in order to maintain optimal performance. While there are many costly ways that you can maintain your home’s efficiency (like a new furnace) there are also wallet friendly ways keep your home purring like a well oiled kitten.
Complete a Checklist: Who can remember every little thing that needs to be checked? For sanity’s sake, here’s a pretty thorough home maintenance checklist that you and your family can divvy up, yay for kids!
4. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
Reverse the Fan: Since heat rises, a ceiling fan in reverse is a terrific way to push all that warm air back down to where you need it most, around you.
Turn Down the Water Heater: It takes a lot of juice to keep your water hot and ready, but you could be spending way more money than you have to. If you don’t need skin scalding water on demand, you can save by lowering the temperature.
5. Measure What You’d Like to Manage
Imagine you’re trying to save money on gas, but your car doesn’t have a gas gauge. How successful do you think you’d be? There’s an old adage that says, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” In the case of saving on your home’s electricity, this couldn’t be more accurate.
Monitor Electricity in Real-Time: Back in the day, the only way to see how much electricity you consumed was to wait until your electricity bill arrived. This makes it pretty hard to make changes in the moment. With real time information, you are able to change your energy habits, turn off unused appliances and forecast what your bill will be based on your usage. Eyedro is an all in one, hardware/software solution that allows you to do just that.
If you’re like us, you know how important electricity monitoring can be when trying to meet energy cost and consumption goals. Traditionally, homes aren’t equipped with a way for you to see how much electricity is being used. But with the increasing popularity of connected home devices, it’s never been easier to feel at home while away from the house.
With learning thermostats, like Nest, you know that your living room is a cozy 73°F (23°C). And with video monitoring, like DropCam, you know your Golden Retriever is asleep on the couch, instead of munching on it. Now, with electricity monitors like Eyedro, you know your home consumed 20.14 kilowatt hours of electricity today.
Making Electricity Usage Easy to Understand
But unlike temperature, the kilowatt hour isn’t a measurement we use every day. Unless you work closely with electricity or have a knack for the subject, the average homeowner might only consider wattage when picking out light bulbs. Since we are less familiar with using kilowatt hours, electricity consumption can be more difficult to understand than things like fuel economy. (Stay tuned for a brief tutorial on kilowatt hours, coming up in January ;))
Introducing the MyEyedro Insights Plugin
While Eyedro always provides your electricity consumption in terms of cost, we wanted to give you a way to put energy into terms we all use every day. This is exactly why we created the MyEyedro Insights plugin.
This handy tool helps you put your electricity use into terms you already know and love. The values are based on the amount of energy produced (or required) for the given unit. So if you’re interested in how much gasoline you would have needed to power your home yesterday, we have that.
Or maybe you want to measure your environmental footprint. With the Insights plugin you can see how many kilograms of coal you would have used. Maybe you’d like to see how many slices of bread you could have toasted. We have that too.
9 Different MyEyedro Insights Views to Choose From
The MyEyedro Insights plugin helps put energy into context, giving you the power to make more informed energy management decisions in the home.
Interested in keeping an eye on your home’s electricity?
Real-time electricity monitoring is an important tool in understanding when and where electricity is being used, and to find energy saving opportunities.
Traditionally, the only information building owners have had access to is what’s on their electric bill – a total power consumption value (kWh) for the past 30-60 days. It’s electricity that was consumed some time ago… nothing to do at that point but pay the bill. This applies to all building types, whether it be a residential, commercial, industrial, or government building.
If you’re not happy with the bill amount and want to do something about it then you can certainly look at energy saving tips, but beyond that the only way to understand why your electric bill is high is to see the full electricity usage details with a real-time monitor such as Eyedro. Electric utilities that have deployed smart meters sometimes share smart meter information via their website but it is still in 15 minute blocks and lags by 24 hours – better, but still not as good as real-time feedback. With real-time feedback you’re able to learn how often equipment is on, and how much it costs to operate, especially the larger more expensive power hogs. Here’s an example of a 20kW heater that the owner knew about but did not know how often it was actually turning on.
20kW Electric Heaters
At far less power and cost but equally interesting is the aquarium heater example shown here cycling 24 hours a day. The owner certainly enjoys their 80 gallon aquarium, but was surprised to learn the heater alone cost approximately $7 in electricity each month. Power consumption from the water pumps and lights (not shown here) increased the monthly cost further.
Aquarium Heater 280W
With real-time electricity monitoring you are provided with actionable intelligence because you can see exactly how much electricity is being consumed at any given point in time, and then keep an eye on consumption and costs before the bill arrives. No more surprises when your bill shows up!
Customers generally save energy after installing Eyedro because they learn why their electric bill costs are what they are, and do something about it. Minor changes to their daily routines have little impact on their comfort level but do have a positive impact on their electric bill.
This post is about a customer in Wellesley, Ontario, Canada that found a 20% savings in their electric bill within the first few days of having Eyedro installed. The family of 5 had already been in their home a few years and most of their major appliances were not very old.
Electric Water Heater Spike of 1750W
After installing Eyedro and letting it run for a couple of days, they quickly noticed large spikes within their normal electricity usage. The 1750W spikes clearly stood out and raised the question – Which appliance is that (in our home)?
During the next day, the family kept a laptop in the kitchen area with MyFreeMonitor.com streaming their electricity usage in real-time. It turned out that the spike was the electric water heater turning on for 20-30 minutes each time a hot water tap was turned on, even if only for a few seconds. Some quick math showed that the electric water heater was costing the family over $20 in electricity each month.
Electric Water Heater 20% Savings
The electric water heater was then replaced with a natural gas model on March 5th and, as can be seen in the before/after comparison graph of electricity consumption (kWh), this simple change has resulted in more than 20% savings on their monthly electric bill. Even once the costs for increased gas consumption are factored in they are still saving money!
Tell us about your experience with electric water heaters. Is it a significant cost on your electricity bill?
70% energy savings is quite an accomplishment, and one that exemplifies the benefit of doing energy saving projects in your organization. The larger the facility and electricity bill, the greater the opportunity to find savings and the greater the payback. This particular company is already profitable and drives awareness and energy saving initiatives as a social responsibility. This particular project was certainly a success.
The company operates a factory with approximately 100 employees between the office, warehouse, and production line. The production line requires the use of four large 3-phase pumps to move liquid throughout the building and production process. As part of the energy saving project, the team installed the Eyedro Business electricity monitor to measure the baseline electricity consumption and cost. Capturing proof of the before and after results was a requirement of the project for obvious reasons.
Before the project, the pumps ran continuously at a constant speed consuming a combined 800kWh per day, or $80/day if we assume $0.10/kWh. That’s approximately $2,400/month and $28,800/year. The project task was to install variable speed controllers to better match pump speed with demand. As can be seen below, the installation of the new controllers occurred on June 12th and was optimized by June 14th.
70% Energy Savings as Measured by Eyedro Electricity Monitor
The project reduced the daily electricity consumption by the four pumps from 800kWh to 200kWh, achieving a 70% energy savings and a cost savings of approximately $20,000 per year. Hidden benefits include less heat generated (which would have required air conditioning costs to offset the heat), and less wear on the motors. The team celebrated their success but didn’t stop there. Next stop is to upgrade the warehouse lighting, a project that is certain to achieve additional energy savings.