One of the things many hybrid car drivers like is the monitor on their dashboard that show how many MPG they’re getting at that moment and averaging over time. In fact, this monitor may actually help increase the MPG as it helps drivers adjust their habits slightly (or drastically!) to get better mileage.
That same idea is being applied to home energy use. I will save discussion of whole house dashboards for another day. But it’s clear from the new monitor we use on our solar hot water, that this technology makes a lot of sense. It allows you to see the savings you’re getting in real time, from anywhere in the house. With the portable, hand-held device, you can see results such as daily, monthly, annual and lifetime dollar savings, the energy collected, and the reduction in CO2 emissions as solar energy displaces the gas or electric you would normally use to heat your water. You can also read parameters like the temperature of water coming us the collector and of the water you’re heating. Kind of neat to see the 140 degree reading on a day when the outside temperature is below freezing!
As we’re seeing, solar hot water is ready for the big time!