The Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Cost Monitor is about to enter the appliance energy monitor space, one that has been dominated by the Kill-A-Watt. Both of these energy monitoring devices monitor single appliances on a 120 V outlet. But there is one major difference: The Belkin unit has a nicer display that is attached to the monitoring portion by a cord!
As someone who has contorted by body in all kinds of ways to try and view my Kill-A-Watt as it was plugged into my home's most inconvenient outlets (like the ones that are behind furniture), I can tell you that the ability to move the display is a great feature! Back when I wanted to use the Kill-A-Watt to figure out how much my electricity my refrigerator was consuming, it was almost impossible to move the fridge, plug in the Kill-A-Watt, and still be able to read the values. The Belkin unit solves this problem with the cord.
The Belkin monitor is not yet released on the Amazon store, but I did find it interesting that it was selling for $29.99 while the Kill-A-Watt EZ is more expensive at almost $34 (you can buy the first version of Kill-A-Watt for under $20).
The Belkin unit looks pretty neat and I'm sure it will help people get a better understanding how their appliances use energy, but keep in mind this won't give you an idea of how your whole home consumes energy, like some of the monitors on our list of home energy monitoring. To really get an understanding of how your whole home uses energy, you need something like the TED 5000 or the Black and Decker power monitor.
The first step in reducing the electricity you consume is to understand where you are using it, and the Belkin Energy Cost Monitor looks like a great first step. I'd be interested to know your thoughts about appliance energy monitoring (like the Belkin unit and Kill-A-Watt unit) vs. whole home energy monitoring (like TED 5000 or/and Google PowerMeter). Which one would have a great impact in your household? Visit our Mapawatt Community discussion on Electricity Monitoring and let us know your thoughts!