Whenever I see our electric bill, it just shows the amount owed, and the amount used (in kWh).

However, it would be really nice if we could request or pay a premium per month, for a service that shows a diagram of which outlets are being used the most. This would be very beneficial in determining which appliance in the house we could be more conservative with.

Is it abnormal to call the energy provider and request something like this? Or is it even a thing?

Thanks for reading :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is not something they can give you as the information is not available to them. They only meter your house as a whole. Also this question is not really on topic here. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 4:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is not a question about the design of electronic devices, hence it is not permitted here. Most questions about the consumer experience of electronic devices, home utilities, etc are off topic here. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 4:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's already been explained that the information you seek is not available to the utility company to give to you. That your question also doesn't fit here is therefore moot for your purposes, so is that really an argument you want to pursue? The actual fact of what is and isn't allowed here is well documented to be restricted to design questions and exclude consumer usage questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 5:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because consumer usage questions are explicitly off-topic in our site rules \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 5:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to make an argument to change the site rules, you'd have to take that to electronics.meta.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 5:19

As has been pointed out by various commertors, your power supplier is unable to provide that information as they have no way of measuring it circuit-by-circuit or outlet-by-outlet, just total for the service.

There are system that can be added to your home wiring to do what you want, at least by circuit. For example, TED Energy Detective*. Such a system consists of current-sensing devices attached to the hot wires coming out of the circuit breakers, as well as a central unit that collects data from those sensors as well as the voltage and relays the data to the consumer.

There may be other systems that integrate into the actual outlets to give finer resolution.

* Example system only. I have no connection to this company and, in fact, have never used the product.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. So from what I understand, it would have to be done by them, or a 3rd party and a total rewire would have to happen? It could cost probably tons of $. Very interesting stuff, thank you. e: it won't let me upvote sorry about that. \$\endgroup\$ – John Miller Jun 27 '18 at 5:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ These systems are designed to be installed by a private electrician or a (very experienced) homeowner. It’s not a total retire. The changes, at least for circuit-level resolution, are all done in the breaker panel so the rest of the wiring is untouched. For outlet-level resolution, I’d expect replacing outlets with special outlets that measure the power and report back using power-line networking (this part is speculation on my part). \$\endgroup\$ – DoxyLover Jun 27 '18 at 6:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if the new homes that are built today have an option to implement this. I guess that just depends? Would be a cool selling point imo. A mapped out meter to outlet diagram and their correlated usage. Cool stuff \$\endgroup\$ – John Miller Jun 27 '18 at 6:14

Ordinary electricity meters do not have the hardware to monitor individual circuits.

If instead your question had been 'I'm designing and building a system to measure the consumption of each of my outlets, and I'm planning this for safety, or that for multiplexing, can I have some help with the other bit', then more specific help would be forthcoming, along with a lot of warnings about local regulations.

For cumulative power use monitoring of individual sockets, most people would use a plug-in energy monitor. Inexpensive enough to buy more than one, safe, move it around target sockets week by week to build up a use picture.

Wired-in appliances are best left alone by the amateur. You may end up killing yourself, burning your house down and invalidating your insurance in the same ill-informed action.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I was just thinking since the outlets are connected to the meter, the the meter could generate a map. And maybe that could be available from the provider. It was really just a curiosity I had. Thanks for the info! \$\endgroup\$ – John Miller Jun 27 '18 at 6:04

That all depends on what kind of meter that you have provided to you by your electric provider. If it is one of the new digital meters then the answer is yes, if you have one of the old mechanical meters then the answer for the most part would be no. However additional equipment can be added to measure the current going in to the building by using a clamp on coil and have that go to a data logger. I know with the meter that I have and my provider does have a list of how much power that I am using by the hour. This was installed for a few reasons one was to electronically record usage, the other was for net metering so that for the homes that have solar or other forms of energy generation it is known how much they are providing to the grid for other consumers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ No. Digital meters may give finer time resolution of energy usage, but they do not capture "which outlets are being used the most" which is the specific subject of the question actually asked. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jun 27 '18 at 5:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey @Paul Robinson, yeah Chris said it better than I could, it's more of if it's possible to get a diagram mapped of the home and their outlets. And if the Energy Provider could actually do that, but it looks like it's not possible. Thanks for answering btw \$\endgroup\$ – John Miller Jun 27 '18 at 5:21

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