A parent in Australia did not need a neighbor or home monitoring system to make sure his teenage daughter didn't throw a party while he was away. All he needed was a device he used to monitor his home's energy efficiency.
David Rose never imagined using his Fluksometer for that purpose, but the fact the device provided him with real-time data about his home's energy use made it too easy for him to pass up checking his home's energy use constantly. Last New Year's Eve, he did just that, when he realized that energy use had spiked well beyond what would be required to operate the refrigerator, which is the only device he expected to be on.
Oddly enough, the energy use suggested that his air conditioning system and television were also in operation. He called his daughter, who he thought was out of town, to see if she knew the reason for the high rates of energy consumption. He suspects that she turned off all the devices she had been using for her party, then called him back to say that somehow, the air conditioner and television had been left on when the family left.
"By this stage half the restaurant [was] crowded around my phone, watching the next development with excitement," according to Rowe's website. "My teenage brains-trust were calling 'party' but there was no way to know for sure. Sure enough the power drops, down to about 180W [after the phone call]. About what the fridge motor uses."
Devices like the one used by Rowe can provide tremendous value to savvy homeowners who understand how to use data obtained by monitors. Home energy efficiency is attainable using these tools, in addition to seeking a home inspection and energy audit conducted by a D.C. home inspector.