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The DIY Home Energy Monitor (Geek Skills Required)

There’s no shortage of companies toiling away to provide you with an easy-to-use, low-maintenance system for monitoring your home energy use. But if you’re a DIY geek and think something a little more hands-on would be cool — or if you want to manage not just electricity but all of your metered utilities — and can’t wait for the smart grid to roll out, then consulting firm MOTO Development Group has a new app for you. It’s called AHEM, for Android Home Energy Monitor.


The idea is that with the application and a little work, you (or at least your hacker/engineer friends) can put together a home electricity, gas and water monitor that feeds into your Google (s GOOG) homepage using the open-source Android platform, a Flickr feed, a low-power computer and wireless web cams (inspired, the team says, by Earth2Tech editor Katie Fehrenbacher’s post on home energy dashboards).

MOTO’s lab unit, which shares tools developed in the company’s consulting practice, has just launched AHEM and will show off the application this weekend at the Maker Faire, an annual DIY extravaganza in San Mateo, Calif. We’ll let MOTO labs walk you through the eight steps of the project (you can download the instructions as a PDF or check them out here), but we’d like to challenge you to take the torch: What innovative ways have you found to use technology to monitor, manage and reduce your energy consumption?

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9 Responses to “The DIY Home Energy Monitor (Geek Skills Required)”

  1. get together with friends an neighbors and go in on renting a thermal camera during either the hot summer months or cold winter months. Renting the camera can cost a pretty penny, but if you timeshare with friends and neighbors the cost can drop significantly. When used properly, the camera can tell you where trouble spots are in your thermal envelope.

  2. Roger

    While monitoring resource consumption more frequently than bills arrive is a great idea, needing to have a computer on 24/7 to monitor energy use has a bit of a issue to it… Don’t violate the extension of the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle that states the more resources are diverted to measure results, the worse those results will be.