Bright-Minded Home-June





by Melissa Coleman

Q+A with Peter Troast
Owner and Founder of Energy Circle

Not only does Peter Troast feature energy-monitoring devices on, but he’s tried them all in his once-drafty but now well sealed and insulated farmhouse in Freeport. I wanted to glean some knowledge from him about these tools.

Q: In your experience, what are the best energy monitors out there?
A: There are two main types: single-number devices like the TED 1000 ($125), which provides a real-time reading of watts per hour for the whole house, and the more granular Emonitor ($699), which divides up usage on a circuit-by-circuit basis and includes an internet connection for extensive data retention. If the TED is reading 1,100 watts in the middle of the day, we know that lights and fans might have been left on in bedrooms and are reminded to turn them off. Although you have to log in to see it, the Emonitor takes it one step further by telling you exactly where the power is being used.

Q: What have been the biggest benefits of using an energy monitor?
A: Energy monitors give you a tool to make a behavioral change. When you can see your power usage in real time you’re empowered to make the changes needed to keep your home running as efficiently as possible.

Q: What other energy-saving tools do you recommend?
A: The Smart Strip provides one of the highest returns on investment. If your entertainment center is plugged into it, the vampire loads of the stereo, Wii, and DVD player are turned off with the TV. This $28 tool can save you as much as $12 every month in unnecessary energy usage.

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