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Electricity rates in Ontario have become horrendously expensive over the past few years.  With Time of Use (TOU) Prices, Ontarians need to keep as much of their hydro consumption at off-peak times as possible,  A very useful tool for monitoring electrical consumption is the Efergy Elite IR Wireless Energy Monitor that  Canadian Niagara Power (CNP) offered to their consumers at no charge for a limited time.  This device is no longer available from CNP.

 

I got mine through CNP's Peaksaver Plus Program promotion, which ended in 2014.  CNP sent an electrician out to install and program it but it's up to the homeowner to keep the monitor updated.  The outside transmitter of the monitor uses wireless communication to broadcast to the monitor's display that can be placed in any convenient location (near a plug) in the house.  Please be aware that CNP does not authorize their customers to adhere devices to their meters and, for safety, only authorized representatives of CNP with proper equipment are permitted to touch CNP's meters.

 

The Efergy Elite IR owner's manual contains everything you need to know to maintain your monitor.  The display isn't smart enough to know about daylight savings time so you need to adjust the time twice a year.  You will also need to update the time of use electricity prices when there is a rate change.

Canadian Niagara Power recommends for customers who wish to have a more in-depth view of their usage to sign up for their online tool (MyHydroEye), which is an excellent tool providing data of their consumption which they can see in annual, monthly and daily views.  Information for this online tool can be found on their website with the activation code listed on their monthly invoice.  This online tool can be much more comprehensive and informative than the Efergy device but I find the instantaneous power consumption display handy for making sure that power is not being unnecessarily being used.  For further information, please visit CNP's website or contact a Customer Service Representative with help in signing up for this tool.

Batteries

My Efergy Elite IR came equipped with an off-brand set of "Vinergy" batteries, one of which had a battery that had corrosion forming on the battery terminals after a couple of years of service. It would be wise to periodically open the battery cover and give each battery a spin to check their condition.  If you see any sign of corrosion, be sure to replace them.  The monitor takes 3 AA 1.5V alkaline batteries.  The transmitter uses 3 AA 3.6V lithium batteries.

Energy Now Display

The 2 important things that appear are the power consumption (in kW) and cost ($/hour).  Power consumption is the flow rate of electricity that is going past your meter.  To consume 1 kW of power, you would need ten 100 W bulbs burning at the same time (10 x 100 W = 1000 W = 1kW), for example.  After 1 hour, these ten 100 W bulbs would have consumed 1 kW-hour (1 kWh).  Using an Off-Peak Rate of 8.7 ¢/kWh, ten 100 W bulbs would cost $0.087/hr (1 kW x $0.087/kWh to operate.  A heater that is rated for 10 Amps would draw approximately 1200 W (10 Amps x 120 Volts = 1200 W or 1.2 kW).  AC power calculations are actually a bit more complex than explained in these examples.