Eco Eye Smart PV Monitor

Do you have solar panels?  We took the plunge and invested in some of our own last year.  We got them while feed in tariffs were high with the idea that they would be a great investment.  

Sustainable gift wrap course
When we purchased the solar panels we also bought an SMA Sunny Beam Monitor (cost us around £150), which enabled us to see how much solar electricity we were generating each day. You can download the information from the monitor and track it to ensure that your solar panels are operating effectively in the long run.  To start with we had lots of fun checking it to see how much money we were making each day.
As well as the Sunny Beam, we have a British Gas Energy Monitor (cost us *free*) which if I’m brutally honest, I have never looked at, but my husband tells me it is meant to instantaneously tell us what energy we are using in kilowatt hours. It doesn’t store any information and you can’t download anything, you can only see what is happening right now.
These monitors were good in theory, but couldn’t individually answer a few questions such as:
  1. If I turn an appliance on now will I need to pay for electricity or not?
  2. What patterns are occurring in our usage over a period of time?
  3. What could we do differently each day to make the best use of the electricity we are generating and save money?
My husband did some research and found out about the Eco Eye SMART PV Energy Monitor
(retails at around £83), which he felt could address these issues and they very kindly sent us one to review. 
The Eco Eye Smart PV Monitor tracks both generation and usage and compares the two every 4 seconds and stores the information so that you can download it and look at trends over longer periods of time.    
We have positioned the monitor in our kitchen, where the majority of our appliances are.  It operates a traffic light system, so if it is flashing green, you are making electricity, amber – breaking even and red – you are paying to use electricity.  You can also see it in kilowatt hours.  If I see it flashing green and that there is a decent amount of spare generated electricity I put the washing on!  
This has really helped us to get clever about the way we use appliances and gives us a much clearer idea of when to turn things on or off and how many things we can have running at the same time. Our other monitors are now redundant and we could have saved ourselves money by buying the Eco Eye in the first place.

Disclaimer – I received an Eco-Eye monitor to review prior to writing this post and I have included affiliate links in the article. If you purchase an item through the affiliate link it won’t cost you any extra and it will help to support the blog – thanks!