Are the Emporia smart plugs any good? The energy market in Europe is all over the place right now and truth be told, I like to know how much I’ll have to pay for electricity in advance to get the bill and also knowing which devices consumed the most energy without me even knowing about it. In our quest to find the best smart devices for a connected home, we recently had the opportunity to test the Emporia Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring. This compact device offers not only the convenience of remote control but also provides detailed insights into your energy consumption.
The Emporia Smart Plug is designed to work with most home appliances, providing both control and detailed energy usage data through the Emporia App. However, during our testing, we found that its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant is not supported in all regions. This is something to keep in mind if you intend to use voice commands to control your appliances.
Design and usability
The Emporia Smart Plug effortlessly blends with any home decor with its minimalist design. Installation is a breeze – simply plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and control your devices through the app. No need to worry if you’ve used smart home devices before, as it’s just as user-friendly. The Emporia App offers an intuitive interface to view energy usage and historical data on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. This helps you identify power-hungry appliances and their usage patterns.
Practical use cases
Whether it’s preheating your coffee maker in the morning or ensuring your fan is off when you’re not home, the Emporia Smart Plug adds a layer of convenience to your everyday life. Moreover, the Emporia Smart Plug can be a powerful tool for assessing the energy consumption costs of specific devices.
By connecting larger appliances like a refrigerator, television, or even a heat pump to the smart plug, you can track their energy usage and understand how much they contribute to your electricity bill. This insight can help you manage your energy usage more effectively, potentially leading to substantial savings over time.
Energy monitoring feature
The standout feature of the Emporia Smart Plug is undoubtedly its energy monitoring capability. It tracks the power consumption of any device plugged into it and sends this data to the Emporia App. Here, the information is broken down into easy-to-understand graphs and charts, showing you exactly how much energy each appliance uses.
In the data dashboards, you have the flexibility to switch between different metrics such as Watts and Amps. What’s more impressive is that you can also switch to currency values. By entering the cost you pay for electricity, the app can calculate and give you an overview of how much each device connected to a smart plug costs you to run. This feature provides a clear picture of your energy expenditure, making it easier for you to make informed decisions about your energy use.
How Emporia seeks to differ from other companies
When we talked with their press representatives we got the following feedback on how they see themselves in the market now and in the near future. Patrick Gevas mentions, “We strongly believe that one of the biggest differentiators is our ecosystem of products. There are a lot of companies who can make a smart plug and have it work with Alexa and Google Home. That’s no longer terribly difficult but what is difficult is having an ecosystem that can help you understand your usage and make changes to enjoy actual tangible savings.
The smart plugs are the easiest entry into that and then it gets supercharged with the Vue system that goes into the electrical panel, as well as a Level 2 EV charger and whole-home battery. Also, the company is in development for a bi-directional charger that will further change our relationship to electricity. Imagine being able to decide when to use your utility or power your home with your vehicle or battery!”
Integration with Emporia Vue
To get the most out of the Emporia Smart Plug, it’s recommended to use it in conjunction with Emporia’s in-panel energy monitor device, Vue. By combining these two solutions, users can gain a comprehensive overview of their home’s energy consumption all in one platform. This holistic approach allows for more accurate energy management and potential cost savings. Maybe we can create a dedicated review for the Emporia Vue at some point and then we’ll update you of course.
We also tested the smart plugs from Meross and I currently think that the Emporia solution is more advanced as they are dedicated to everything surrounding the subject of energy and electricity. Meross might have a wider portfolio of devices as they don’t have such a focus but until now I did not feel that confident about the data that the Meross devices have gathered. When comparing the apps of both solutions I would say that both are not perfect but the Emporia Energy app still has the better UX.
The support of Emporia is also better if you need to know something or if you need help. The only thing that Meross was better at in my books was that their smart plugs could be connected to Alexa without a restriction for my region, so this might be a final aspect that Emporia could improve in to gain an advantage over the products from other brands.
Emporia smart plugs in summary
After thorough testing, we can say the Emporia Smart Plug stands up to the competition and is a reliable solution. It offers a great combination of control, convenience, and energy monitoring at a competitive price point starting at currently 11.99 USD per unit. However, the regional restrictions on integration with Google Home and Amazon Alexa could be a drawback for some users. If you’re looking to make your home smarter and more energy-efficient, the Emporia Smart Plug, especially when used with the Vue energy monitor, is definitely worth considering, provided you are comfortable with the limitations of voice command support.
YouTube: Emporia Energy Monitoring Smart Plugs
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and the background photo has been taken by Antonio Guillem. All product imagery is owned by Emporia Energy.