Measuring your home electrical usage

by Alex Kuretz on January 20, 2009 · 2 comments

in News

These days many of us are interested in reducing the amount of energy we use in our homes. The Home Server helps accomplish this by allowing us to put our PCs to sleep or hibernate when not in use yet providing access to our important files, all while using little power.

Before you attempt to reduce your energy usage, it’s helpful to know how much you’re using. The P3 Kill-A-Watt is a device that is useful for this task and is what I use to measure the power consumption of the server and storage products I test and evaluate, however it’s only useful for testing a single device.

A blogger by the name of Jason Winters has shared his method for measuring and charting in real time the power consumption in his home. Note that this tutorial does pose some risk and should not be attempted unless you know what you are doing.


I’m curious to hear if any of you try this, and if you can integrate the reporting utility into your MediaSmart Server Remote Access pages.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


T-Bone January 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm

sometimes I think that people are so focused on one thing they dont see the bigger picture. Everyone is talking about reducing the energy that they use in electronics. This is a great thing. I also thing that more could be done to make the average home less dependant on coal energy. With the advances in Solar panels Im suprised there isnt more hype about installing these on your home and generating power for your home. You can also do a deal where you sell power to the local power company if you are taking in more then you use. this way if you leave your MSS on all the time you can take solice that solar power isnt costing you or the planet money. My $0.02 for the day (Lack of Sleep)

allenc3 January 24, 2009 at 7:48 am

Great project. Much can be learned by doing.

If you don’t like doing, you can do some buying at:

The TED units can be had with a PC USB interface and power analysis software. The current-clamp and voltage measurement devices go inside the breaker box and transmit data to the receiver/display via wire line carrier. Works great but interferes with X-10 light controls if you have them.

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