Efergy Home Hub

I’m currently using the Efergy Home Hub and it was soooo easy to set up. Purchased from the Smart Green Shop. After  receiving the kit, I had it up n running in less than an hour and was viewing the “Real Time Usage” by connecting to Efergy’s website. The kit consists of a “CT Sensor”, A transmitter and a “Hub”.

For whole house monitoring, you place the CT (current Transformer) sensor over the live “meter tail” cable, this is “Live” as opposed to “Neutral” and it isn’t a bare cable  (see bottom of page for safety note)

For separate circuits, you place the CT sensor over the “live” cable of one of the circuits. This will mean having to remove the cover of the fuse box (a.k.a Consumer Unit) and you might want to get a qualified electrician to do this for you.

After you have created a (free) account at efergy, you can see the “real time usage” by logging in to the Efergy web site and you see a sort of speedometer showing the current energy being used in Watts. There is also a graph that shows the historical energy used for a 24 hour period and you can download a CSV (can usually be opened in just about any spreadsheet) which shows the total of KW hours used (that’s what you are charged by the utility company). Its’ a doddle to set up and in barely no time you are seeing how much energy you are using It’s a nice bit of kit but (there’s always a but isn’t there) 🙂

It doesn’t take long to realise that you don’t actually have access to the data that is being squirted up to the Efergy website every 12 seconds and that the historical graph can’t be scrolled backwards to check for pattern of usage. So in principle the real time usage (RTU) and the historical graph are basically a bit of a novelty – if you’re an analyst like me!

I’m currently (no pun intended) checking each separate circuit on the fuse board and it is likely that the CT sensor used by Efergy is more suitable for “whole House” monitoring.

The engage.efergy.com website used to view your monitoring results doesn’t seem to be all that reliable but it’s early days and Efergy are actively working on making more info available . In principle they are working on making the data being squirted up to their website available to registered users, this should make it easier to produce meaningful graphs and tables.

Conclusion as of 8/03/13 is that it’s a nice bit of kit and if you’re happy to see a RTU speedometer and a 24 hour historical graph then this is the kit for you – easy to set up and should give you a general idea of what energy you are using.

SAFETY NOTE

In principle, when you are monitoring the “whole house” you won’t need any tools – just your eyes and fingers! In my case, the electric meter is outside in plastic box so all I had to do was find out which was the “live” cable between the meter and the fuse box. It is usually easy to see which is the live cable as it should be marked in some way. A popular method is for it to have a red plastic ring/clip round the cable. All you do is open the CT sensor (clamp) and then close it round the cable and then just connect the sensor wire to the (battery powered) transmitter, then close the meter cupboard door and start looking at the power you are using by visiting the efergy website.

If you see any bare cables when you open the meter cupboard, close the door again and call an electrician, you don’t want to be touching bare cables because it don’t half give you a tickle 🙂

If you don’t have your meter outside, you will still be able to see the cables coming from the meter to the fuse box as the meter is rarely more than about a metre away from the fuse box. Again the live cable should be marked in some way to identify it.

If you want to monitor separate circuits, I’d recommend that you ask an electrician to give you a hand. Modern fuse boxes are made to be reasonable safe even with the cover off and you should not need to touch any bare wires but it’s better to get a sparky (electrician) to give you a hand.