Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
[Sorry for the long review but I felt it important to update my progress regarding the use of Solar PV- see end of review]
I bought one of these to replace an old meter supplied by EON which I was convinced was over reading my power use.

Installing it was easy and well explained although for some reason they put in the setup instructions at the end of the manual.

Initially, the reading was a lot lower than my old EON meter but I decided it was too low. So I plugged in a 100W (incandescent) light bulb and it only registered a change of about 60W. So I went back and fiddled with the the clamp that goes around the main power cable next to the Official Electricity meter (it is quite a tight fit by the way). It obviously wasn't seated correctly because when I got back, the reading was something closer to 85W.

I still wasn't happy with this so I had another read of the manual. I noticed that there was something in there about adjusting the voltage and I found my unit was set to a (default?) voltage of 230V. I don't care what Wikipedia says, I have always believed the mains voltage in England to be around 240V. To make sure, I measured it and it tends to vary between 239V and 244V. You can adjust the Owl to your mains voltage so I set it to 240V and then the figure increased to around 93W.

I decided that this was within the 10% tolerance quoted in the manual and left it at that.

During all these tests I discovered something else; that the Owl only updates every 6 seconds or so and sometimes it seems like a minute will go past before it changes. This may just be a wireless interference problem and it doesn't really affect the overall performance of the unit.

I was pleased to see that you can actually set up a dual tariff reflecting the fact that many suppliers quote a higher unit rate for the first 225kW used in a quarter. I am still testing this to see if works properly and will update my review if I have any problems.

In case you are interested, the EON meter was reading about 15% higher than it should. What I hadn't realised was that the EON transmitter has batteries in it. They had lasted over 5 years and were still going but once I replaced them both meters read almost identically (which is comforting).

Overall, if you are interested in how much power you are using at any given time (and don't have solar panels) then this is a fairly inexpensive way of finding out.

UPDATE (2 Aug 2013). I have now been running the Owl for a month and had two 'hiccups' with it. The first was when it measured a brief power usage of 9999kW( might have been 9995kW, I can't remember). I suppose this could have been a mains spike but nothing else in the house was affected (including the surge protectors which I thought were supposed to indicate when there have been voltage spikes).

I wasn't really too bothered about this although it did screw up the historical data for power usage provided by the Owl. Then, about 10 days later, it stopped receiving data from the transmitter. In the end the only thing I could do was disconnect and reconnect the batteries on the receiver (I didn't touch the transmitter).

Of course this meant that all of the setup had to be done again including all the tariff information. The good news is that after looking for the transmitter for about a minute, it found it by itself. So, at least you don't have to re-pair the receiver and transmitter every time you replace the batteries.

UPDATE 2 (20 Aug 2013). I have now put in solar PV panels and the owl is behaving very strangely. It is difficult to explain but I know the house uses about 1.1kW just to 'tick over' so when the panels are generating around 1kW I would expect the Owl to be reading zero (or close to it). However, it reads about 700W. I even called the Owl support and they couldn't figure it out either (although they are going to look into it further).

We double checked by looking at the 'real' electrity meter and sure enough, the wheel had almost stopped turning. We even tried turning off the panels when they were generating about 1kW and Owl immediately jumped from 700W to 1100W indicating that the house was drawing just over 1kW from the National Grid. Very confusing and unfortunately makes the Owl useless during daylight as you cannot tell how much power you are really drawing from the Grid'. Of course if you haven't got solar panels then I still think it is a great device to have around the home.

UPDATE 3 (8 Oct 2013). Prompted by a comment on my review, I called 'Owl' again to see if I could make any progress with the Solar PV problem. Although they still couldn't explain why it was happening, this time I was told that the product is not meant to be used with a Grid Tied inverter. For that he recommended another product that they sell. I suggested that they should put a warning to this effect in their documentation but he didn't seem very interested. I might try their official solar PV unit but I am afraid I am still concerned that they couldn't explain why it is happening.

UPDATE 4 (8 Nov 2013). I think I have got to the bottom of the Solar issue so I thought I would make a final update in case it helps anyone else in the same situation. I decided to read a couple of the Owl on-line manuals; specifically, the one relating to their Solar product. In it they refer to solar PV systems that are wired as what they call 'Type 1' or 'Type 2'.

Basically Type 2 is where the output from the solar inverter feeds into your Consumer unit. Type 1 is where the output from the solar inverter is connected (effectively) directly to the Grid mains feed between the main electricity meter and consumer unit.

Mine had been wired as 'Type 2' so I decided to get my electrician to re-wire it as 'Type 1'
'Et voila' the Owl now reads the correct house power consumption all the time (it is as if the Solar Panels are not even there). I have now put the Owl next to my wireless solar generation meter so that I can see at a glance how much power I am generating and how much power the house is using. A simple subtraction of one from the other tells me whether I have any spare to turn on the dishwasher! Hope this helps
1515 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2013
bit of a faff to set up and get working, does occasionally decide it can't read itself, but easily sorted. Does the job, helps me find what has been left on, I know that if it reads 50p the oven or kettle or grill have been left on, if it reads 25p during the day then the kids have left tvs or computers on (more than 1) and when I go to bed it reads 3p which means nothing has been left on. Works well to get family on board for saving money because it shows instantly how much they are using so when someone claims not to have left anything on in their bedroom you can show the dial & they seem to take that better than mum nagging. The kids even get motivated to save money because they enjoy the challenge of getting the readings as low as possible. Accuracy at the end of the quarter is ok +/- £10, doesn't seem to have facility to cope with standing charges or dual rate electric (if it has I haven't worked out how to do it) Has saved us about £60 per quarter and has now persuaded my husband we can't afford to run a tumble drier so will save us a lot more
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2012
Item came within days and what a great little energy meter. Install on my solar generation live cable so can see what I am generating all the time. Its that good I have ordered another so I can install on the incoming feed to the house and see import/export.

I know it won't know if I am importing or export but I will, if the this new unit shows 0 then i am break even.

and what a great price!
77 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2013
Easy to set up. Works very well. Not 100% in line with the electricity meter reading but close enough. Very handy to see usage on various items and times etc.

No problems with unit at all.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2013
Bought an OWL meter after discovering our electricity usage was much higher than average 2 person household!
Delivery was quicker than estimated and set-up was easy with clear and concise instructions - do as they say and you can't go wrong. Early days yet but proving very interesting as we turn things on and off around the house. Looks like the greenhouse heater will have to go!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2013
Read up a little before deciding on this model and glad to say it does everything I wanted. I found it easy to set up and use. It was interesting going round the house switching things off and watching the reading change. Since buying this, I've invested in a lot of LED bulbs for our kitchen and bathrooms. It is quite revealing as to where the power goes. I recommend this product.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2013
Works well and very usefull. Range for wireless is very good and batteries doing well. It is also very accurate, I have tested devices .
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2013
Perfect, easy to install, seems quite accurate and certainly helps to be "conscious". We need to change some of our attitudes and this is a perfect place to start. Tough!!! I'm trying and we'll see where it goes? It's an impressive item and I'm certainly happy I bought it. Amazon is Amazing...
Thanks,
Mike
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2012
I found it does what it said on the box and can see from day to day , week to week what I am using in power.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2015
Bought so we had some indication of how much power was being used at a given time and for that sort of "energy awareness", I think it fills the roll well.

As a bonus for us, the signals from the CM180 transmitter can be read by the rfxcom rfxtrx433 USB transceiver we use for home automation (the messages received are "instant power", "total power", "signal level" and "battery status"). This enables us, should we wish, to see what we are consuming from our Android(s) and home PCs..
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 18 answered questions


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)
  -  
Manage Your Power Consumption at Circuit Level. Save Energy & Money!
  -  
Utilidata gives your grid real-time intelligence: learn about our tech!
  -  
Free sub metering guide explains all you need to know. Get it now!