Home Energy Management Systems: Great for Busting Teenage Parties

Austen Hufford/CC BY 2.0

Home energy management systems are great for a lot of reasons: they allow you to monitor and reduce your energy use, lower your carbon footprint and save some cash on utility bills. And most systems let you watch your energy use and make changes remotely. Turns out, as one Australian dad discovered, that remote monitoring can also allow you to catch your teenage kid throwing a house party in your absence. Who knew making your home more energy efficient could also help you keep an eye on your kids?

David Rowe, a software developer and avid user of the Fluksometer energy management device, checked in on his energy performance while at dinner 500 miles from his home using an app on his Android phone. Instead of the minimal consumption that he expected from a vacant house, he saw a spike in electricity use that was similar to the air conditioning cranking and lights and TV on. Some teenagers at his table clued him in to what was going on: his daughter was throwing a party while Pops was out of town.

Rowe called his daughter and asked what was going on. She denied any partying was taking place, but the subsequent change in energy use in the house showed she was trying to cover her tracks and, when Rowe returned home the next day, he found enough evidence in the trash to confirm his suspicions. Check out the energy graph below to see the changes Rowe witnessed.

Rowetel/Screen capture

So kids, if your parents are energy efficiency geeks and have an energy management device at home, you're going to have to find another place to throw that party when the folks are out of town.

Tags: Energy Efficiency | Technology

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