A significant proportion of the total energy in conventional homes across the United States is used by electric plug loads, which include various electronic devices and home appliances, excluding the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units and electric water heaters. Considerable energy savings are expected to be possible by managing these plug loads effectively based on user behavior data. Smart plugs and circuit breakers that can control and monitor energy usage on a real-time basis are becoming increasingly popular alongside the rapid development of smart home energy management. This paper reviews the recent advances on the subject matter with emphasis on the feasibility of energy monitoring and the flexibility of system integration. A relatively low cost laboratory implementation, using a general-purpose single-board computer, which was was designed, built, and tested in order to provide enhanced power quality monitoring capabilities and to support research in this fast growing area, is described together with experimental sample results.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in 2019 8th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications (ICRERA).

© 2019 IEEE Copyright Notice. “Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.”

The document available for download is the authors’ manuscript version that is accepted for publication. The final published version is copyrighted by IEEE and available as: R. E. Alden, P. Han, and D. M. Ionel, “Smart Plug and CircuitBreaker Technologies for Residential Buildings in the US,” 8th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications (ICRERA), Brasov, Romania, Nov. 3-6,2019, pp. 1018-1021, doi: 10.1109/ICRERA47325.2019.8996877.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The direct support of the University of Kentucky, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, of the TVA professorship endowment, and of the SPARK program is gratefully acknowledged.