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60 Reviews
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 (29)
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep track of your energy usage
I was looking for a means of keeping track of my energy usage particularly as I have just had a new heating system installed and wanted to be able to monitor its efficiency. This little gadget was easy enough to install however I did have a slight problem at first because I have solar PV panels on the roof and when I first put the clip on the cable it was measuring my...
Published on 30 May 2011 by laramax

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
The unit itself works very well and the sensors have a good range but the whole point of this particular model is that it should be able to ues the USB connection to record results on a computer.
I cannot get this to work because they do not appear to have supplied the correct driver to make the link to my computer, which runs Windows XP. I am dissapointed because,...
Published on 17 April 2012 by Philip Smith


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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep track of your energy usage, 30 May 2011
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This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
I was looking for a means of keeping track of my energy usage particularly as I have just had a new heating system installed and wanted to be able to monitor its efficiency. This little gadget was easy enough to install however I did have a slight problem at first because I have solar PV panels on the roof and when I first put the clip on the cable it was measuring my production as well as my usage. I emailed OWL and they quickly responded and advised me that by moving the sensor I could just record usage. I then decided it would be useful to get a second OWL to record my solar PV production. That was great until I discovered that the software didn't like me having two identical monitors so I sent another quesion to OWL. Again I got a speedy response telling me how to fix the issue or offering me the chance to beta test their new software allowing me to link up both units seamlessly to the laptop. I chose the latter and they very quickly sent me the software which worked perfectly.

I am really impressed, not just by the units ability to record data and transfer it to the PC but also by the exceptionally helpful customer service I have had from OWL. I definitely recommend this product, it has certainly made me aware of which items use the most electricity and made me much more conscious of using off peak where I can and switching things off when I am not using them.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 Oct 2012
By 
MT (Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
Despite relying on reviews for assistance when buying from Amazon, I don't often write my own reviews and only tend to do them when I remember or have nothing better to do. But for some reason with this I was compelled to come here and write something almost as soon as I'd finished setting it up.

First things first - it's an energy meter. The reason I bought this was because I've just built a new home server which is going to be running all the time. I was therefore curious as to what impact this would have on my energy consumption. I've also got a lot of electrical gear running at home. This is different to other types of meter which you attach the device directly to and can then monitor individual appliances' usage. This goes on your main supply and gives you a view of your whole household usage. This concept made me a bit nervous - the thoughts of having to attach something directly to my main supply and potentially shorting out / blowing up my house.

Well the worries were unfounded. It's true that you need to go in to your main fusebox and snap a small sensor around the main wire. But it's loose fitting, so it's not like you're actually tampering with the cable at all so it's very safe and also easily removed. This took all of 5 seconds to do.

In the box you get a sensor, a sender unit and the display unit. Plus 6 batteries - and Energisers no less - no cheap junk. Thumbs up for that. Instructions are very clear on how to set it up although it indicates you need a screwdriver to get in to the battery compartments, which isn't true. Setting up the display unit is a cinch too, takes a bit of time depending on how many tariffs you want to set up. You have up to 9 I think, so unless you have a very complicated plan should be enough for most needs. The menu on the unit is very intuitive.

Then sync the units, attach the sender unit to the sensor and you're away. It was all up and running in under 10 minutes. The device is now sat on my desk merrily displaying lots of interesting info about my power usage. In fact, it's cost me not quite a 10th of a penny to write this review. I haven't used the USB download function yet, but will perhaps do so in a month or so. Even shows me date and time and current temperature, which is quite neat.

All in all this is very very good and for 30 something quid you can't really argue. The only reasons it's not 5* are because the display isn't great - an old school monochrome LCD jobby, but it does the job and no real need for a colour screen plus if you do have a 3 phase electrical supply then you need additional sensors which will almost treble the overall cost I think.

But certainly no complaints here. I am now experimenting with switching things on and off (e.g., TVs on standby) to monitor what changes. WIll be interested to see what happens when the washing machine, tumble drier and home server go on!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and frightening, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
Interesting and frightening at the same time. I now sit in candle light, wrapped in a blanket and drinking warm beer ! You certainly see where you are wasting or using electricity. It was simple to set up and install and worked first time. I am now having the consumer unit chanaged and the meter tails have to be changed to meet the new specification so I had to order a different sensor from the 10mm supplied. At £15 the 17mm sensor is a bit pricey for what it is.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well built and works well, 14 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
This is the first time I have used an elctricity meter reader and have to say I am quite impressed with how accurate it is.

Once set up, I tested it and turned everything off and switched individual things back on to see what reading it would show, everything registered and showed how much energy each was consuming. I keep hearing about how a tv uses as much energy on standby as is does when on...it doesn't but it uses some all the same, very useful as I now turn everything off.
I am on economy 7 and so my water heats up over night, little did I know that it was also heating up during the day hence using more electric...a lot more. All this will help me reduce my electric bill.
Whats also a useful feature is that you can plug this in to your computer and see what electric you have used and at what time, so if your at work like myself then you can still see when your electric has been used, this is how I found out my water was being heated during the day.

Now for the bad points:

1: It isn't very easy to set up, you need to input certain things from your electric bill which is quite frustrating.

2: This energy meter works with economy 7 which is why I bought it, what they don't tell you is that you need to buy an optional sensor for it to work, I found that disgusting considering the price you pay and the fact you can get these energy devices free from some energy suppliers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, 14 Jun 2011
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
Easy to setup if you read the instructions correctly - I have now had this up and running for several weeks and managed to find out what is running from an electrical point of view to enable me to make adjustments to my consumption, to reduce my electricity costs. If I had any specific requests for Improvement it would be a back light to enable you to see consumption when the lights are off in the house.

All in all I recommend this product
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed, 17 April 2012
By 
Philip Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
The unit itself works very well and the sensors have a good range but the whole point of this particular model is that it should be able to ues the USB connection to record results on a computer.
I cannot get this to work because they do not appear to have supplied the correct driver to make the link to my computer, which runs Windows XP. I am dissapointed because, for me, this was the main selling point.
I phoned Owl who were aware of the problem but were unsure when it would be resolved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Hardware - Poor Software, 29 Nov 2013
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
I used to be the global energy manager for one of the countries biggest corporations and there is a key rule in energy management; "if you cannot measure it, you cannot control it"

This monitor it works well as a measurement tool and thus getting control of your energy use; all of its stars come from that.

It would get 5 but the setup and PC interface is really poor and contains fundamental errors.

Setting it up uses a retrograde 1980's "tab through" system without clear guidance - it's not very intuative and you do have to read the manual and follow each step.

The PC software is just about the worst I've seen, not clearly explained, and I've still to produce 1 functional chart after 4 hours of reading. What is annoying is that there is no system to use the clear interfaces on the PC to set up the unit.

However exporting to CSV and into Excel is simple and then you see the dumbest of errors - incorrect units assigned to the data sets. (watts/minute described as kW etc.)

A few minutes with Excel get you the charts, you need to understand and manage your energy, the software should have given you and you can see where the energy is going

In short - OWL needs to spend some time getting its data into an understandable form and easily setting up the unit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, but with some drawbacks..., 21 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
This item is really nice, but I found some issues that may be a problem for some.

- The wireless connection doesn't reach very far. Maybe that's not a problem if you live in a small apartment, or if you plan to put the receiver near the transmitter, but in my case, I was planning to put it in the living room, but I had to leave it in the kitchen...

- They should sell kits with more sensors, or at least advertise them with a BIG note stating and explaining when YOU MAY NEED MORE SENSORS!

-The Image in the advert seems to show a screen with back-light illumination, but until now I couldn't find that feature...

Other then that, I would really recommend this gadget to everyone. I've learn some amazing, scaring and important things using it for the last few days... Now I understand why my electricity bill is so FAT every month :-\
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OWL CM160 with USB upload facility, 30 Jan 2012
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
OWL monitor was easy to install (I have a triple phase (European) feed and was able to push the three wires into one standard sensor and seems to work fine. Can be set up for various currencies including euro. PC software is basic ( disappointed that it does not work on a Mac) but easy to set up. Overall a good useful monitor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OWL, 14 Jan 2012
This review is from: OWL CM160 with USB Wireless Electricity Monitor Now with New Upload Facility (Accessory)
The hardware appears to be of good quality, software loaded without problem, the sensor is tight on a 10mm dia. cable and needs 15mm clearance around the cable. Setting up date, time, tariffs etc is fairly straightforward but it could not deal with a different tariff for the first 700kwh. The graphic display works well on windows 7 and is easy to understand. The only thing I query is that when consumption drops below about 200w for a long period the monitor and the historic graphs indicate zero consumption, even while a couple of lights are on and a fridge is running. It may still be accumulating the total it is difficult to tell.
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