Save Money, Reduce Carbon Emissions: The Energy Detective is on the Case


TED, The Energy Detective, Sits Where You Will Notice It

Saving energy, thereby protecting the environment and saving money, keeps getting easier with new tools to help you see and manage your energy use. People who live off-grid know where every watt-hour goes. You can do a similar thing for your whole house or apartment with TED, The Energy Detective. With TED, you can see your real-time energy use either by watt-hours or by dollars. How The Energy Detective Works
TED, The Energy Detective, works by sending a wireless signal from your electrical metering box to the TED monitor unit, which can be conveniently installed anywhere it will get noticed. Yes, you could do the same thing by opening your meter cabinet yourself, and looking at the little wheely-thing spin. But who does that? With TED, The Energy Detective, you could take the monitor straight to the site of your experiment. For example, how much does my energy spike if I run the ceiling fan on high instead of medium? Or in cases that are less easy to see a direct correlation, change your behavior for a week and see how the result comes out.

Programming The Energy Detective
TED, The Energy Detective, has a toggle-menu which reduces the number of buttons but requires a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, you can set The Energy Detective to display the following:

  • Real-time electricity use in kW or dollars per hour;

  • Amount of electricity used so far today, in kWh or
    dollars;

  • Amount of electricity used so far this billing cycle, in kWh or dollars;

  • Peak level of power used today (or this month), in
    kW or dollars;

  • This month's projected electric bill, in kWh or dollars;

  • Present voltage; today's low voltage; or today's high
    voltage.

The Energy Detective will also sound an alarm, which can be programmed based on low-voltage, a high-voltage, or to alarm if the house exceeds a preset maximum level of kW usage. It report dollars based on your input of actual rates, and it can accept even complicated rates schemes such as:

  • Tiered rates (e.g., 8.5¢ per kWh for 0-500 kWh, 9.5¢ per kWh for 501-999 kWh, 10.5¢ per kWh for energy beyond 1,000 kWh);
  • Time-of-use rates);
  • Summer / winter rates);
  • Fixed monthly charges (e.g., per month for street lighting);
  • Fuel surcharges or taxes (fixed fee or percentage);
  • Any combination of the above.

The manufacturer claims the Energy Detective is accurate to +/- 2%.

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