Power guzzlers are easy to spot. A good electricity detective is available for as little as 9 euros. Smart devices can do more than just measure, but are significantly more expensive.

Everyone is moaning about high electricity prices – but how are you supposed to recognize the power guzzlers in the house? It’s easy to do with an ammeter. This often looks like a small socket. One side goes into the mains socket, the plug of the consumer is plugged into the other and the consumption is displayed. The good news from the product testers: You only have to pay 9 euros for such a helper, which then also has the grade “good”.

15 power meters were tested, including classic and smart models. One smart device scored “very good”, ten with “good”. The devices that do not measure low currents correctly performed poorly – but this function is important for determining stand-by consumption.

Easy and cheap

In the classics, the “NZR Stand-by Energy Monitor SEM 16 USB” was ahead. The device measures very precisely, and at a price of 193 euros it is more suitable for the professional sector. Second place is the “REV energy meter Control-Line” for a manageable 17 euros. The “Revolt Digital Energy Cost Meter” is also cheap and good for only 9 euros.

Smart gets complicated quickly

In the smart sockets with current measurement function, the “AVM FritzDect 200” comes in first place with a very good grade. The costs here are 78.50 euros. It is clearly too expensive to just measure the household appliances. A smart socket only makes sense if you want to use it permanently. For example to time the Christmas lights. In addition, one must pay attention to the peculiarities of the operation. The “AVM FritzDect 200” can only be controlled if it is integrated in the network of a Fritz router. If you have another router, you can’t do anything with it. Even if you want to measure the power consumption in another building without a Fritz router, it has to fit. So it’s hard to give them away. With other providers it is similarly complicated. Some only work in an Apple world, the Gigaset device requires a Gigaset base station in addition to the WLAN router.

Regardless of the test results, you have to find out beforehand whether the device will also work at home. Smart sockets allow devices to be switched on and off via app or voice assistant. In this way, you can time the lighting and reduce the standby consumption of devices to zero. It remains to be seen whether this will save you money. A socket controls only one unit of consumers. If you want to control a TV, kitchen radio and several lights in this way, you spend around 80 euros per switching unit in the case of the FritzDect. The most common application is probably the control of lighting and here you cannot achieve any standby savings at all.

You can view the entire test here for a fee.

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