· smart energy devices · 5 min read

Guide to Home Energy Monitoring

In today's world, where every household appliance seems to be getting a 'smart' upgrade, it's high time we turned our attention to optimizing the very energy that powers them. Enter Home Energy Monitoring Systems (HEMS).

In today's world, where every household appliance seems to be getting a 'smart' upgrade, it's high time we turned our attention to optimizing the very energy that powers them. Enter Home Energy Monitoring Systems (HEMS).

In today’s world, where every household appliance seems to be getting a ‘smart’ upgrade, it’s high time we turned our attention to optimizing the very energy that powers them. Enter Home Energy Monitoring Systems (HEMS), a revolutionary tool that stands at the forefront of home energy efficiency. These sophisticated systems are designed to grant homeowners a detailed glimpse into their daily energy consumption patterns, offering a golden opportunity to seize control of energy usage, curb wasteful habits, and carve out a path to substantial savings.

As we explore further, we’ll see how these systems seamlessly integrate with smart home devices, offering real-time insights that enhance energy management. Let’s delve into how HEMS can help you cultivate a home that’s both intelligent and energy-efficient.

Appliance-Level Insights

With circuit-level monitoring (that covers your main appliances) or appliance-level monitoring systems, homeowners can gain detailed insights into individual appliance usage. This granular data provides a clear picture of how each appliance contributes to the overall energy consumption of the home.

  • Leveraging TOU (Time-of-Use) Rates: Time-of-Use rates are pricing plans that charge customers based on when they use electricity. HEMS can help homeowners identify peak usage times and energy-intensive appliances. By understanding when energy is most consumed, homeowners can shift their usage to off-peak hours, taking advantage of lower rates. This not only reduces the energy bill but also helps in reducing the load on the grid during peak times.

  • Playbook for Appliance Upgrades: Knowing which appliances are the most energy-intensive can guide homeowners in making decisions about upgrades. By replacing older, inefficient models with newer energy-saving ones, homeowners can achieve significant energy and cost savings. Once an appliance is upgraded, HEMS allows homeowners to monitor its performance and energy consumption. This provides real-time data on the return on investment, showing homeowners the tangible benefits of their energy-efficient upgrades.

Backup Solutions Tailored to Your Needs

HEMS provide invaluable data for sizing a home battery backup system. By identifying the energy consumption of essential items in your home, you can accurately determine the capacity needed for a backup battery. With these insights, homeowners can create customized backup solutions, ensuring that essential systems like refrigeration, heating, or medical equipment operate uninterrupted during power failures.

Solar Preparation and ROI Tracking

  • Precise Solar System Sizing: HEMS facilitate the precise sizing of a solar system by providing detailed insights into your home’s energy usage patterns. This data is crucial in devising an effective solar offset plan, helping you avoid the pitfalls of over or under-sizing your solar setup.

  • ROI Monitoring: As utility prices continue to rise, tracking the ROI of your solar investment based on energy usage rather than the total bill amount becomes increasingly important. HEMS allow you to monitor your solar investment’s ROI accurately by keeping a detailed record of your energy consumption and savings.

Integration with Smart Plugs

Home Energy Monitoring Systems (HEMS) primarily focus on monitoring your home’s energy usage. However, when paired with smart plugs, homeowners can not only monitor but also actively manage their energy consumption, ensuring a more efficient use of household devices.

  • Remote Control: Smart plugs allow homeowners to remotely turn devices on or off, based on the insights provided by the HEMS. This can be especially useful for devices that are found to be energy hogs or are left on unintentionally.
  • Scheduled Operations: Utilizing the data from the HEMS, smart plugs can be programmed to operate devices during off-peak hours, potentially saving on energy costs.

Sense and Emporia

When it comes to HEMS, two brands that have made a significant impact are Sense and Emporia. Both offer innovative technologies and customer-centric approaches, but their methods of energy monitoring differ significantly.

Sense: Machine Learning for Precise Appliance-Level Monitoring

Sense brings a high-tech approach to energy monitoring, utilizing machine learning to identify individual appliances based on their unique electrical signatures. Over time, Sense’s system learns to recognize these patterns, providing you with appliance-level energy usage data. This detailed monitoring allows homeowners to understand their energy habits better and identify opportunities for energy savings. Sense’s most popular product, the Sense Energy Monitor, is priced at $299. They also offer the Sense Solar and Sense Flex models for those with solar power or requiring more customization. Want specifics? Discover more in our Sense buying guide or check out Sense selections on Amazon.

Emporia Vue 2: Comprehensive Circuit-Level Monitoring for Your Home

Emporia offers a more flexible approach with their Vue 2 HEMS. Starting with a base model around $85, homeowners can add on features to suit their specific needs. The upgraded model comes with 8 50A sensors for circuit-level monitoring, providing detailed tracking of energy usage for individual circuits in your home. This is particularly useful for monitoring major appliances, which typically have their own dedicated circuits. Emporia’s most popular model, the Emporia Vue 2 with 8 50A circuit sensors, is priced at $125. They also offer a 16-circuit option for homes with more complex electrical systems. Need more details? Dive into our Emporia buying guide or explore Emporia options on Amazon.”


Home Energy Monitoring Systems (HEMS) are a game-changer for homeowners seeking to understand and control their energy consumption. By providing real-time data, these systems enable homeowners to identify energy wastage, make informed decisions about energy use, and potentially save on their energy bills. Brands like Sense and Emporia offer innovative solutions, each with their unique approach. Whether you’re just starting your energy efficiency journey or looking to take it to the next level, HEMS offer a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals.

Back to Blog