Past studies of providing instantaneous feedback on household electrical demand show promise to reduce energy consumption by 10-15%. This paper surveys past research and describes a pilot evaluation of two low cost monitoring systems in case study homes. We also develop an evaluation protocol to use such devices to determine the relative energy intensity of various energy end uses. An identified advantage of the technology is that it provides better guidance on profitable areas to reduce household electrical demand - many of which are often unexpected. Moreover, our case studies showed that use of targeted power strips and occupancy- based controls can significantly reduce electricity use associated with household entertainment centers, home office equipment and rechargeable devices.