Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



IEEE Transactions On Industrial Electronics, VOL. 59, NO. 4, APRIL 2012


Copyright IEEE 2012. Used by permission


Residential energy consumption accounts for 21% of the total electricity use in the United States. Unfortunately, research indicates that almost 41% of this power is wasted. Changing the way that consumers use energy may be important in reducing home energy consumption. This paper looks at whether the implementation of certain real-time energy monitors has an impact on the residential rate of energy consumption in a metropolitan area with relatively low electricity rates. In the following case study, 151 Omaha residences were equipped with two variants of the Aztech In-Home Display (Aztech) as well as the Blue Line Power Cost Monitor (PCM) real-time energy monitors for a period of 16 months. The results of the data, 30 days after installation, revealed a statistically insignificant reduction of 12% in mean electrical consumption in houses equipped with a PCM and no reduction in mean consumption in homes using either variants of the Aztech device when compared to a randomly selected control sample. However, they proved effective in the short term if utilized by utilities for mass distribution to foster awareness among participating residents of their own patterns of residential electricity consumption and on the environmental impacts of energy saving.