Circuit Panel breakers that report usage loads and status

For about 15 years or so I’ve wondered why no one has come up with the idea to put a communications device (hopefully now zigbee/zwave or wifi) embedded chip into the standard circuit breakers that are in everyone’s home main distribution panel… Think of this… the Kill-o-Watt  meters that show you when a plug is using how much energy. I would so love to replace all my breaker switches with a switch that had a Zigbee or Wifi addressable IP interface to my home LAN so that software on my PC/Smartphone-device could report which circuit in the house was using what power and when (total power, which times, etc)  – The breaker could have a simple set of LEDs on the front of it showing from off (black) to red (heavy usage) and even breaker tripped (flashing red/etc)… This is not that complex… What is important is that is is standardized with and API and XML reporting data that any software can read into and display.

I can not buy a USB Wirelesss N device (both 2.4ghz and 5.x ghz) coverage for $22… As things get smaller and more adaptable, I really hope someone reads this and thinks about developing a reporting Kill-o-watt breaker switch that can fit in the panel of any home’s breaker box and give us info on what is happening with the circuit.

I come from the horrible world in the 90’s where I tried to outfit my house with X10 devices (powerline). There are just garbage. I want a simple universal set of devices (wall switches, power plugs, etc) that only add $2 to the cost of the device… To do this you need everyone from Leviton to home depot to agree on a standard model and mass produce it… Everyone needs to stop competing and come together for a standard that can be adopted buy all.


Aeon Labs makes a Z-Wave energy meter that goes in the circuit box:

We haven’t tested this yet, but we’re almost done adding energy meter support, so if it works like Aeon’s plug-in energy meter it should work with SmartThings soon.

This would be awesome – rather than monitor just the main phases coming into your house – why not design a Internet of Things (IoT) compatible 20/30amp breaker for the fuse box – that way each circuit could be monitored independently – now that would be awesome. Right? - Derek


I agree this is a super idea. I have looked into several solutions but nothing as clean as mentioned by aaronsmith.
In my case I have a solar array and looking into adding a very small battery backup. If the main power goes out, I want to be able to detect that and cut power to certain breakers. A good example is something like a spa that doesn’t need to be running and drawing high current from a small backup battery. Just enough to run select appliances like freezers. The current z-wave energy meters are good to see power overall, but it would be much more valuable if you can monitor and control each breakers power consumption independently.

They do have such device. Just not cost effective for residential or consumer grade. It’s an overload/underload remote reset contractor. Siemens and Schneider and a bunch of other companies make them. I installed many of these on commercial HVAC and motor control. They are PLC controlled and can easily be integrated in ST but very expensive and hard to do with a finished house. As for having all these inside a circuit breaker. It’s not going to happen anytime soon. It’s a safety thing and no company is going to take that reliability with residential. You are not going to be able to get rid of your circuit breaker even in a commercial industry.

It looks like these might be on the horizon! Eaton is field testing new smart breakers:

They’ve been working on this for a few years, here is an earlier incarnation:

It would be so sweet if they released these. Until then, I think i’m going to get TED