Blue Line and PlotWatt combine hardware and cloud-based software for home energy monitoring
By Alyssa Dalton
August 31, 2011 – Blue Line Innovations, the makers of the PowerCost Monitor, has partnered with PlotWatt in hopes of “significantly advancing the residential customer experience” by combining Blue Line’s hardware with PlotWatt’s cloud-based software, they said.
The partnered solution enables homeowners to see both their real-time whole-home energy use and appliance level spending with no additional hardware or “smart plugs” required, they said. PlotWatt receives live data feeds every 32 seconds from the PowerCost Monitor WiFi Gateway which is broadly available at Lowes, Amazon and other select retailers, they added. The partnered solution is live today.
Peter Porteous, CEO Blue Line Innovations said: “this is a real game changer for homeowners. It has already been proven that displaying real-time energy data can help users achieve 5-15% energy reductions. We have been test driving the PlotWatt dashboard for nine months and this is the real deal – the data is impressive but the results are even more impressive.”
PlotWatt describes its cloud-based algorithms as being able to analyze the real-time electricity data and identify appliance-specific data signatures from a whole-house meter, and report the appliance-level costs to the homeowner. These can be used to report energy usage in kWhs or dollars for major appliance groups in the home – heating, AC, refrigeration, clothes dryer, pumps and always-on waste. Mobile and tablet apps are expected by the end of the year.
“It’s been an exciting time and we’re delighted to be partnered with Blue Line,” said PlotWatt CEO Luke Fishback. “Today we’re making the results of that hard work available for free to Blue Line users everywhere. We like the Blue Line solution; they are the proven leader with lots of customers and a simple, accurate and easy to install technology. Together with Blue Line we can really help people to take a chunk out of their electricity bill.”
The PowerCost Monitor features a universal optical sensor that slips over the outside of virtually any electricity meter and then feeds that energy data in real time up through a WiFi Gateway to the PlotWatt dashboard, explained the companies. “It’s a simple, step-by-step installation with no electricians required,” they added.