Hi is Powerpal something good to get and install or get installed
More information would be useful. I’ve never heard of it, whatever it is, and whatever it does.
One of these:
An adaptive device that attaches to a range of smart meters. Using an App you wirelessly connect to the device and can monitor home electrical power consumption at any instant.
Looks like it needs batteries but it is a simple install. There are alternatives that require an electrician to install and can be directly powered from the mains. Not as low cost or easy DIY.
When my home had the old meter replaced with a smart meter, I was given an energy monitor for free. Both the sender unit in the meter box, and the display unit in the house used batteries, and the system only worked for few weeks. Didn’t bother after that.
POWERPAL :- Does it work and IS it useful.
If your in Victoria , and are prepared to wait you can obtain ONE absolutely FREE ! ( and I have NO AFFILLIATION to the company).
1st : I will just expalin that the Victorian Government has an agreement with Powerpal to have it installed absolutely free. The electricians cycle through postcodes and work independantly of Powerpal…So spots for the install are snapped up quickly.
Last April (2019) I chose to obtain one for my rental property Under the free program from Vic Government). With Covid restrictions the program was suspended, and Powerpal offered the product at a discounted price ( $45.00 self install). They normally retail for approx $129.00 So I took advantage of the discount and fitted it myself.
I used it to look at my usage of power and to help me figure out where power was costly. The device is made by an AUSTRALIAN inventor and he has been featured on lots of programs on T.V. The device is real time usage and when paired with a smartphone or tablet/computer gives real time power use. By using a elimination strategy (turning on/off devices) one can see the devices consuming the largest/smallest amount of power. Using this concept I have reduced my power bill by over 30-40%.
When setup the user can see ( with current rate entered) real cost (in $ value). IT is very accurate in it’s costs. It will store power use settings. That can be exported into a number of programs and formats (although I only use CSV).
Using this device I also joined Amber Electric. And reduced my overall bill cost by almost 50%… I have told all of my friends and relatives about this tool. I would recommend it to anyone serious about trying to find out where they can reduce expensive electricity. I haven’t covered all of the features here, IT IS a fantastic Aussie made device!
The unit is extremely small it measures 3 inches high. It doesn’t require a battery, the inventor tried to ensure that it had everything it needed to be functional…( from the inventors blog - battery should last over 5 years, with a possible longer time).
To install the item - An adhesive pad is stuck to the glass front of the meter. THERE is NO electrical work to do!
True with the caveat they will only install free to ‘free standing’ residences, not units or flats. It has to do with the meter box location but the ‘sign up’ form will not discriminate and reject anything not ‘free standing’.
A family member has a unit with the meter box by his front door, as do all the rest, but because it is a unit they will not accept a booking regardless.
We still have an old Centameter which was left in our current home when we bought it some 6 years ago which I managed to resurrect.
It has a battery powered transmitter in the meter box which has a clamp on the mains cable and a battery powered display that we keep on the kitchen bench which displays power usage as well as the temperature and humidity.
It too was an Aussie invention which actually featured on the ABC TV New Inventors program years ago, but was taken over by Clipsal who shut it down.
Definitely a clever design.
.?? It does, however it comes with a built in battery. As you suggest it has a long life. This is not user replaceable?
As it is an IOT device, does it pair exclusively with the selected mobile phone or can it also connect over a home network? If the device connects using blue tooth which has lower power needs the range will be very short and limited to direct connection to the mobile device with the App.
Our meter box is too far from the main part of the house to provide a reliable wifi signal. That would not make the device unusable. Just inconvenient when monitoring in real time.
Here is the information link on the powerpal site:
Hope this answers your question.
P.S. I find that I only get about 100 metres.
I run my app on an android phone. I tried to run it on my desktop which will connect bluetooth to the sender, but it doesn’t seem to be as user firendly. I wouldn’t really want to be using in a fixed state with a PC.
We had one in Brisbane about 10 or so years ago and it was useful initially, but after a few weeks it had little benefit as we had already implemented measures to reduce consumption.
A suggestion may be see if you can hire one for a week or two…which might be all you need to get an idea of how much you consume at what time…and what you can do to reduce consumption.
This may be a good device to donate (when no longer needed/wanted) to a neighbourhood ‘collective’ that has a sharing/circular economy setup??
Whilst trying to resurrect it, I did search for a new unit but the only one I saw was a used unit on eBay in the UK.
Today I found this item from Schneider Electrics who took over Clipsal, listing a new model. It is dated 28.07.2018.
And also this item dated 17.12.2019.
They don’t seem to know if they are punched, holed or bored.
During the past 6 years, every time we have had any electrical work carried out, the sparkies have persisted in removing the clamp from the mains cable at the rear of the meter panel and leaving it curled up in the bottom of the meter box, and I have had to tell them we want it left connected.
Apparently none of them have ever come across a working unit so they all assume it is faulty and needs disconnecting.
But why do i have to give them my latest power bill ???
That is concerning especially when their product T&Cs state:
The Customer authorises Powerpal to use Customer Data provide benchmarking analysis and provide the Customer with relevant offers from third parties.
The Customer authorises the Company to use and transmit the Customer Data within Powerpal to any third party energy provider or Reseller for the limited purposes of managing and monitoring the Customer’s energy usage.
This suggests that there is a risk that providing such data may result in approaches from third parties for products they sell (they will contact and market products to you - or another words the T&Cs mean you agree to be spammed by third parties).
I would reluctant to use the product based on the above.
What made you think you do?
For the free Victoria offer getting on the install list requires only postcode, house type, then name, suburb, and mobile. When they get you into a schedule you get an SMS to confirm the address and schedule. Although it is simple to install the Vic plan requires a ‘certified installer’ tape it on.
It say so , before they come to you to install you need to down load the app and have your latest powerbill ready to give to the installer
they send an sms saying , you MUST READ before your appointment , and then when you read it it say IMPORTANT , step 1 your recent power bill, the installer need your bill, step 2 access your electricity meter 3 , install the app
Thanks for that new information. I suspect that might be to confirm you are an actual customer entitled to the free box in Vic?
The only reason that you are asked to supply your bill, is so that the energy plan that you are on can be correctly entered.
The power companies have different tiered rates and pricing structures. The information on the bill (in reference to pricing and rates - ie single rate, multiple rate, or tiered rate) will also affect the inofmation in real dollar terms that the device will give you.
So as an example in a MULTI tier rate the first 15 Kwh is @ 25c per Kwh and then may drop to say 21 C per Kwh thereafter. This information is on the bill, and some ( I am NOT saying everyone) don’t know that rate accurately.
So the request for a bill is so that the rate entered information is accurate. NO Other information from the bill is used!
The address that the device is installed at, is used to provide proof to Government Audit.