Energy monitors: Compare features & prices Onzo Smart Energy Kit review http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/reviews/energy-monitors/onzo-smart-energy-kit/review/
The innovative Onzo energy monitor certainly looks great, but it's currently only available to customers of energy company SSE. So is it worth switching your energy tariff to get your hands on one? Read our full expert review below to find out.
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I have had my ONZO meter for over a year now and found it helpful as you soon learn what the expensive power users are. Some early battery problems were eventually ironed out. I too find that when I am not at home it uses energy that cannot be explained. I have recently had some solar panels fitted. The monitor cannot detect this so the reading you get are for total power usage. I also have a problem trying to identify high usage in 'history', although the different categories are useful. I have managed to reduce consumption. I wish there was one for gas.
Difficult to Interpret Results
I have had one of these for 5 months. I have uploaded the data to the SSE site several times, which works well (on one PC, on another it seems to find a problem with the connection and doesn't work). I have now had two long discussions with SSE about the results, but they don't seem to have much idea about what the graphs are telling me. I am away quite a lot, and get inconsistencies, where I am using more energy when I'm away, than when I'm home. I know I turn stuff when I go away, so only heating controls and fridge freezer left on. It looks as though I will have to do my own experiments to identify what is consuming the energy.
need to change tariff to obtain from SSE
I was interested in getting this energy monitor after your positive review, and being an SSE customer when I looked on their website it appeared I was on one of the eligible tariffs, so I called to ask them to send me a monitor. However, one thing they do not make clear anywhere is that they will only send you this monitor if you are on one of the specific tariffs that includes standing charge. SSE customer services are very good, and the advisor calculated that it would cost me several pounds more each month to switch to the standing charge tariff. As this monitor was meant to be "free" I said I'd rather not switch - in effect the money saved in one year by not switching means I could buy another monitor anyway. And when I asked why I couldn't have the monitor anyway, even if the costing calculations would not be totally accurate as I was not on a standing charge rate (I didn't really care about this aspect anyway), but simply to monitor my electricity usage in kilowatts, I was told they couldn't send the monitor "to customers who are not on the tariff as the monitor communicates with an online system which can only be set up once the account has changed to Iplan. " I thought people should be aware of these caveats to what might otherwise be a very useful device.
Disappointing battery pack
I'm not sure why this review shows this kit is unavailable as I bought it direct from Onzo web site Feb 2011.First the good points. This monitor is very easy to set-up and use. Does well at highlighting the heavy energy using devices for you to do something about. However, one of my main reasons for buying it was because the sensor used the power in the electricity cable, using induction, to run instead of batteries and the display used a rechargeable battery pack. The kit was more expensive than most but these running cost advantages made it worth while.This proved to be false economy because the battery pack keeps failing requiring a replacement each time. I'm just about to send the whole unit back for a full refund after the forth battery failure in a year.
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