• long running

[VIC] Free Home Electricity Usage Monitoring Device (IHD) Installed from Time to Save


IHDs (In-Home Display Energy Use Monitors) provide a visual representation of how much energy a home is using and/or how much it costs at any given time. As most of us rarely go near our electricity meters, we normally do not track (real time or past consumption) our home electricity usage.

However, even if you could, you wouldn't be able to determine how much electricity you are using, how much it costs, and whether you are using more or less electricity than you were an hour ago, a week ago, or a year ago. In a TOU tariff, it can be hard to remember when one price period ends and the next begins.

What an In-home display smart meter energy monitor can do?

IHDs can bring all your electricity usage information inside your home or onto your computer and smartphone in an easy-to-understand format. In their simplest forms, IHDs simply indicate (in color bands or symbols) whether you are in a high, medium or low pricing tariff to help you decide whether to run appliances that consume a lot of electricity, such as vacuum cleaners.

Emerald Electricity Advisor connects directly to your in-home smart electricity meter, and sends data directly to your phone or chosen device, tracking and reporting on your real-time electricity usage.

Emerald EMS is a connected home device that automatically alerts homeowners when electricity is wasted, highlights time-of-use rates, and informs when appliances need attention. It reads electricity kWh usage from the meter impulse rate. A homeowner receives usage data on Emerald EMS smartphone App. Connection between Electricity Advisor and emerald EMS is via long-range Bluetooth.

Emerald EMS accurately monitors and tracks home electricity usage. Allows customers to budget electricity spend and identify energy wastage. Goal is to reduce electricity bills, save money. All data is encrypted and strictly secured.

How to claim your free In-home display (IHD)?

We will connect you to an accredited provider (accredited under the VEU scheme) to install an In-home energy monitor display (worth $59.99) to your smart meter. Rest assured, there will be no charge for the product or the installation — it is completely FREE.

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  • +2

    Who else does it send the usage data to? If it sends you or your partners, what is your/their policy for sharing/using the data?

    • +1

      The Emerald EMS does not share usage data with any third party. The communication link between energy monitor and your smartphone is encrypted using data encryption, data masking and SSL protocols.

      • Ok, but then who does the app share data with once it has it?

  • Does this work the same as the Powerpal power meter? https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/653942

    • Yes.

      • +7

        Is it better then powerpal?

        • +1

          Both have similar functionalities and features.

  • +1

    How does this differ to the energy consumption data provided free by the United Energy Easy Portal?


    • There is not much information available on the website. This does look like a similar device.

    • Maybe you should read the information you linked to.

      Your Devices: Connect an in-home device to the meter to get near real time information about your electricity usage.

    • +1

      PowerPal, etc. show real-time usage. Mine died though but I was sent a warranty replacement. So much for lasting 10 yrs.
      They are good though - helped me change my habits and identify appliances that consumed a lot of energy over a period of time (e.g. air purifiers can use around 60w so if you don't need them on, shut them off).

  • Why VIC only? Anything similar for NSW around?

  • +1

    If you have a Powerpal claimed (presently kaput - does not link and show any information), can we still claim the free option?

    • Since they are separate, they will just claim the credits under VEU? Worst case, they will have to deal with DELWP.

    • No.

  • Can't seem to find the in-home display sample photo?

    • If you scroll down the page, there is one under the "Why do I need an In-home display (IHD)?" heading.

      • I see. Realistically it isn't IHD that AGL distributed in the past. Just an app-based system like Powerpal.

  • +1

    Why are these things necessary?
    Shouldn't a "smart" meter already provide this functionality?

    I'm happy with my spinning disk meter and my own vampire tap remote metering system. Saved the Vic Taxpayers $1,000.

    • -2

      The function of an IHD is very much similar distance to empty reading display of your car. There is a fuel gauge in your car which measure the remaining fuel you have but it can't tell how far you can drive. Similarly, if you have set your energy budget using the IHD, you would know when to run it to meet the target.

      • Doesn't explain why a "smart" meter doesn't already provide this info.
        Not very Smart are they! I have all this info on my old fashioned meter.

        • The smart meter data can only be accessed from distributor and not all distributor portal are up to the same standard, it is not live update. For United Energy for example it doesn’t even show 30’ usage interval (only 1h usage). You can’t even download the usage data from United Energy portal. I don’t know why UE cripple it and remove the option to download the usage data.

          This device is pretty much showing your usage in real time and that is the difference. It is meant to educate ppl about how much power they are currently using so they can cut it down.

          • @samehada: I know how the system doesn't really work. I was being sarcastic.

            Smart meters are NOT smart, they are just electronic meters. They should have had all the consumer useful functionality built in. A billion dollars wasted, plus the Govt gravy train for these overpriced gadgets and unnecessary "installations".

            I've been remotely measuring real-time usage for over ten years on my spinning disk meter. Not new tech and should have be included in the new meters, given the huge price tag.

            Apologies: Dan Andrews stupid extended lockdown 6 is making me extra cranky tonight.

            • @BBF: The smart meter should have this bluetooth feature built-in which really cost them nothing for just a bluetooth chip. Well, it cost more to change the meter than attaching a device.

              At least it is mandatory to for meter to be changed to smart meter in VIC compared to NSW which is still on the manual meter type.

              • @samehada: Not mandatory in Vic. I'm happy with a non spying spinny manual meter and my own realtime feed.

  • +1

    It looks like there are a few businesses offering either the Emerald or PowerPal devices for free based on the ~$60 rebate from the Victorian Government. The two devices appear functionally identicaly and based on screenshots the apps look basically the same. Although the hardware enclosures are differnt I suspect they're just rebranded versions of the same device.

    You can find other potential suppliers here:

    As far as I can tell these devices aren't much use if you have a solar system, but if you have a solar system there's a good chance you have some sort of power monitoring anyway.

    • +5

      If you have solar its nice to see if you are pulling from the grid or not. If you aren't, it will just say 0…

      • +2

        Agree with this. Didn't get consumption monitoring for solar (additional $500-$700) and this (PowerPal) does the job for me. May not be exact but at least I know my consumption and can compare to the solar production.

      • +1

        Exactly what I do, though I don't bother as much nowadays. Between app for invertor, Powerpal and energy portal, no real need. For curiosity, I do jump on and check feed-in on those (rare) sunny Melbourne days.

  • I have a PowerPal (also no longer working) and a solar invertor. They are actually a handy device if you want to keep an eye on usage for things such as lights. I've got a few energy monitoring smart plugs, but these don't work on hard-wired devices (such as lighting). The IHD's give you an over view of where you're at, but obviously don't take into account your solar feed-in.
    I use the energy company's portal to download my usage, then dump it into a spreadsheet I've written, which gives me a breakdown of feed-in vs usage. Accurate within cents.
    A warning: Monitoring electricity can be very addictive (or is it addicting?).

  • My PowerPal were never connected to my metre since the very beginning. Until I took over the app on my phone and sort it out. Just need to plug into my metre. It's BT so I can only connect to it in front part of my house. Would prefer something with better coverage

  • Is this one of the ones that clamps the cable or reads the flashing LED on the meter? Is anyone offering a signer paired device?

    • That was meant to say *zigbee paired

    • No. This one is different. The clamp you are talking about is just a CT (current transformer) that measures current or voltage flowing through the clamped wire.

      • Ah i see it's an LED reading one. When there's a zigbee one on the market I'll consider it.

  • What is the difference between this and the PowerPal?

    • They are almost identical.

  • FWIW I have an older WattsClever EW4500 unit which has been going strong for 8 years on now and has an actual display that goes up on my wall, that doesn't require logging into an app. It's a shame they don't make them anymore - not sure if there is another solution out there that comes with an actual display?

    • The WattsClever IHD comes with an additional screen. Why one would keep an extra screen when the job can be done with your smartphone or desktop screen?

  • We have had an Origin IHD for years (almost 10?) that connects by Zigbee, charges by USB and is magnetic so it sticks to the fridge. Shows TOU, kWh, $, now, daily, weekly, monthly use. It was free. I have no idea why they weren’t given to everyone with the smart meter or why you can’t get them instead of these complicated things.

  • Remember people, these are "free", because we have already paid for them with taxes.

  • How long does it take to get it installed? Can DIY installation?

  • It takes about 15-20 mins.

  • +1

    Booked an appointment, got a confirmation the day before and also on the day. However was a no show (no call or sms from them to update), not going to bother wasting my time chasing them up.

    • +1

      These companies are all the same, don't worry they will show up at an unexpected time and date. Same when they all do the LED lights swap.

  • If my electric meter is not a smart meter, can I apply for this?

    • No. The IHD device works only with a smart meter.