Home energy monitors help builders, buyers make the most of an energy efficient home
Monitors provide real-time tracking of home energy use
Builders, take note. A new campaign by BC Hydro to encourage homeowners to monitor their energy use could also benefit the people who build those homes.
Now that smart meters produce real-time information about a home's energy consumption, the stage is set for homeowners to make use of a home energy monitor. These devices offer a running display about home energy use, so homeowners can make decisions about how they use electricity.
Right now BC Hydro is offering residential customers in single family detached or semi-detached homes a $35 discount on the purchase of a home energy monitor, bringing the price down to the $35 to $65 range (depending on the model selected).
Monitors back up builders' energy efficient home promises
While the monitors must be registered to an individual homeowner, there's value for builders in encouraging their buyers to purchase one.
"Builders can build an energy efficient home, but sometimes the occupants don't maximize the energy savings potential," says Cynthia Curll, manager of the Power Smart New Home Program.
Curll says energy conservation behaviours, such as minimizing clothes dryer use and switching off lights and electronics when not needed, can make a significant difference in home energy consumption.
"We know they build efficiently, but builders have no control over the homeowner," says Curll. "Here's something that will help buyers manage their energy consumption so that they can take advantage of their efficient home."
Other Power Smart tools, such as the MyHydro energy tracker, also help.
Curll invites builders to weigh in. Do you think home energy monitors would help buyers optimize the energy savings potential of a Power Smart New Home?
Get your own monitor and build your energy tracking awareness
Even though the home energy monitor program is aimed at residential customers, Curll hopes builders may get a monitor for their own homes, to learn more about how they work.
"We want to create value to builders to actually get their product sold," she says. "A lot of the work around that marketing piece is to make use of MyHydro's online tools, and make people aware of energy consumption.
"A builder can design a home well and do a great job on an energy efficient build. But equally important is how the home is lived in and used after sale. The home energy monitor is part of that conversation."