Manage Home Power Consumption with the Alexa Energy Dashboard
1 August 2021
As Debbie and I have been an Amazon Alexa smart home for many years, we’re anticipating staying the course for our new home. This has gotten me doing more research into all of the different smart assistants to make sure I’m heading in the best direction regarding our long-term technology roadmap. One of the really neat features I’ve found with Alexa is Amazon Alexa’s Energy Dashboard.
Alexa’s Energy Dashboard lets you monitor energy usage throughout your home. It tracks energy usage for all types of Alexa-enabled devices, including light bulbs, water heaters, televisions, clocks, and Echo devices. It can also monitor energy usage for non-smart devices connected to your smart plugs, such as older TVs and microwaves.
Open the app and tap “Devices” on the bottom menu bar.
From there, tap on “Energy Dashboard.”
If the app isn’t already set up with compatible devices, you’ll see an option to “Browse Devices.” This will take you to Amazon’s website, where you’re able to view and purchase any compatible devices, including popular options such as the Kasa Smart Plug Mini, Echo Show 10 and the Sonoff Smart Light Switch.
If devices are already detected, tapping on “Energy Dashboard” will reveal quick, at-a-glance info concerning the total energy usage across all of your connected devices. It includes a helpful weekly bar chart broken out by day of the week. Energy usage by day is expressed as kilowatt-hours (kWh) — is a unit of measurement equivalent to the amount of energy used by a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour. The higher the number, the more energy consumed.
If you’re a “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” guy like me, you’ll see why this helpful. I’ll be using the platform to get a ballpark idea of our current energy usage to help support planning for our new home. It’ll be particularly valuable with my calculations to determine things like power load needs for in-home battery systems, generator systems to support the home during short term power outages and potential solar solutions. We’ll also be installing circuits in the garage in the anticipation of future electric vehicles needing charging.
There’s not much to update regarding finalizing our floor plan. Debbie and I have been traveling this past week visiting family so we haven’t focused a lot of time on that. I’m guessing we’re pretty much there as the friends and family we’ve talked to about our plans have had little to add. So I guess one of the pandemic silver linings has been it’s given Debbie and I more time to refine the floor plan.
For all you Alexa users out there, let me know your thoughts about the Alexa Energy Dashboard. I’d be particularly interested if you find other use cases besides what I’ve mentioned above. Also, keep the suggestions coming via the comments, DM or email for smart home topics to cover in the future. I’m really looking forward to covering specific elements of our smart home build once we start doing more than moving dirt. Until next week …
In full disclosure, I’m not an affiliate marketer with links to any online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn nothing from the retailer. The links are strictly a convenience for my readers.