For some time you’ve been asking us how to check how much of your solar energy you are actually using.  Otherwise how can you check that you’re making the most of your free energy? How can you check what else you can do to reduce your bills?

There are a few quite impressive devices on the market that help with this. Those lucky enough to have a Solar Edge inverter as part of their solar PV system are able to use a Wattnode monitor to monitor energy usage (please ask us for more details).

But what about the rest of us? Whilst doing some research, SunGift came across the Smappee Home energy monitor, with solar tracking.

This device not only claims to show you the energy your home is using (as opposed to showing your solar energy production) it also highlights for you how much energy each device in your home is using. As you can imagine, this got us quite excited!

Trialling this, we soon found that the recorded data was displayed attractively and simply. Additionally, Smappee can be used on a mobile device such as your smart phone or tablet. Not only this, but it seems really easy to use.

Smappee say “With Smappee you’ll learn more about your home every day. Smappee detects all main electric appliances in your home, as they all have a unique electrical signature. The free Smappee app shows you exactly where your energy is going. Now you can start saving. First by taking steps to reduce your always-on use, then by finding out about your energy guzzlers and tackling them. Gradually you’ll learn how to live in a more energy-efficient way. You may not notice the change in your lifestyle, but you will certainly notice it in your electricity bill. Consuming less and optimising the use of your solar production: you gain twice!”

So, what’s the downside and is it too good to be true? Ollie Gibbs from our domestic solar team has installed the Smappee to his home solar system and will be analysing the results. We will share these with you next month.

In the meantime, Ollie’s first impressions:

It seems to be working really well, it was a bit of a fiddle to install but 3 weeks in I’ve already used it to significantly reduce my base load [ this is the amount of energy your home consumes when you are not even there, for instance TV’s on standby and fridges and freezers ]. My wife has the App installed on her phone and probably uses it more than me now! We can turn the washing machine and dishwasher on when the Smappee indicates there is enough solar energy to do so – this is great as timed properly these can be run completely off the solar system. There are quite a few features I am yet to play around with such as the smart plug and the device recognition setup but its looking like a really useful bit of kit!
Watch this space….