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When you’re a product reviewer, or run a product review site, there are times when you’ll get requests for products, many times in fact, and as you get more popular the more requests you’ll get. With these requests comes decisions, there are quite a few products I’ve turned down for review that just didn’t fit with the site, we try to focus on certain things and sometimes we get requests that are just not something that would fit with our site. The product I have for review today was one of those products, it was actually one of two that Black and Decker sent me in the same message, and I let the message go for a bit because I had to think about it to make sure it would really fit with the site. After some thought I decided that yes it would fit, it’s a gadget, it’s electronic, and most of all I think it’s something very useful and something that many people would appreciate seeing a review of.

The product is the Black and Decker Power Monitor, B&D isn’t quite known for it’s electronics, more tools and appliances, but the Power Monitor is a very useful device overall. The Power Monitor is basically a two piece unit, one part that attaches to your electric meter, and the second part that resides inside of your house. The idea behind the Power Monitor is to help you monitor your power consumption and adjust things accordingly.

Saving money is something that I believe we all can understand and probably something that we all would like to do, any way that we can cut corners and save some cash is most likely going to appeal to many people, myself included. Of course we can also look at it from the ‘green’ angle as well, using less electricity is obviously good for the environment and our wallets.

So I’ve got an unboxing for you, check it out and continue on:

Specifications:
Black and Decker Power Monitor

Power Monitor
Model # EM100B

SEE HOW SMALL CHANGES CAN ADD UP TO BIG SAVINGS
Black & Decker’s Power Monitor is the instant and easy way to help control your energy consumption.
This easy-to-use device tells you – in real time – the amount of electricity you’re using, as you use it!
The Power Monitor consists of two parts – a wireless transmitter that easily attaches to your electric meter, and a wireless handheld device that uses data from your electric meter to display information about your energy consumption.
Using information about your electric rates, you can track minute-by-minute changes in electric consumption as major appliances are turned on and off. Take control of electric bills and save up to 20% a month!

Features:
Displays electricity use in your home, minute by minute, in dollars or kW
Studies show families that use the Power Monitor to change their behavior and save energy can reduce their electricity bill by up to 20%
Easy to install weatherproof sensor requires no wiring and works with almost all electricity meters
Shows month-to-date bill and predicted monthly bill, helping households stick to their energy budgets
Also shows day, time, and outside temperature (wherever the sensor is placed)

Price: $99.99


As I mentioned the Power Monitor comes in two parts, one part that attaches to your meter and the other part that goes somewhere in your house. The monitor itself reads your meter and transmits the information to the base inside of your house. I’ve got a basic electric meter so the installation was very easy, just slid it over the glass and line up the sensor with the rotating dial and that part was done.

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One thing I do like about the monitor is that it tells me the temperature outside, this way my wife doesn’t have to ask me every morning what the temperature is, she can just look for herself, the monitor also displays the Time, and Day of the Week on the bottom next to the temperature. On the top of the monitor is displayed approximately what you are spending on electricity per hour, under that is an animated bar that symbolizes the spinning disc in your meter. Under the animation is the Tier # that the meter is set at, the Tier is the Tier of your electricity, it can be programmed for several billing styles. Some places get charged a flat rate for their electric, while others might get charged seasonal rates, and of course if you’re a business you might have a different billing system as well. You can program different things into the Power Monitor according to your electric billing. Under the Tier # is the approximate amount of your monthly bill, that is what you really want to pay attention to, that little hourly rate at the top is usually in cents and may not seem like much, but once you see the monthly bill you’ll understand how fast it really adds up.

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The actual physical installation process for me was very easy, it’s the next part that can be a bit of a pain, or a bit tricky. The first thing you need if the Power Factor number from your meter, most are usually 1.0Kh, and mine is, next up you need to determine what type of billing you have Flat Rate, Tiered Rates or Time-of-Use Rates. Once you know what type of billing you have you can then figure out what information you need to program into the power monitor so it can figure out your electric usage correctly. There are worksheets included in the manual to help you along and there are nice detailed instructions to guide you through the process. Depending on the type of billing you may have a bit of calculations that will need to be completed, and of course you’ll either need a copy of your bill or know what your rate type is. I can see where it might take quite a bit of time to setup, after you figure out you billing stuffs, then you can finally program the monitor, which, depending on your billing, can take several steps.

Overall it’s not too bad as long as you have all of the information at hand, and a little patience. In the end it’s worth it because you can learn, in real time, your power consumption and change things accordingly to help you save money, and maybe save a tree or two!</SPAN< p>

 


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Conclusion:
The Black and Decker Power Monitor can be a very useful and powerful tool to help you save money, it monitors your usage so you can adjust it accordingly to help you use less electricity and save money.

I’ve got expensive listed as one of the cons, only because it costs overt $100 with shipping, but really the money you can save while using it should make it worth the one time expense.

Pros:
Helps you save money
Helps budget your money
Monitors power consumption so you can adjust usage
Promotes going green
Includes time and outside temperature on display
Easy to install

Cons:
Expensive
Can be time consuming to setup

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10