Gadgets 938

    Published on April 6th, 2010 | by Greg


    Get Greener with Blueline

    The cost of energy is on the rise. This isnʻt a fact that anyone likes, but itʻs the way things are, and the way we can expect it to be for the foreseeable future. For as much as we would love to be presenting some wonderful gadget that would make the actual cost of energy go down this isnʻt quite it. However, itʻs very nearly the next best thing. By keeping track of how your householdʻs energy is being used in a detailed way itʻs possible to adjust your own habits to be more energy efficient.

    Blue Line Innovations has devised a way to track your energy use with the Power Cost Monitor, and we were eager to try it, because knowing your problem is half the battle. The Power Cost was installed with little to no ado, the unit sensor just gets attached outside to the meter. Note: before going much further, itʻs worth noting that if youʻre in an apartment building where you donʻt have access to your individual unitʻs meter this device wonʻt work for you. We tested ours out on a single-family house.

    Once the sensor was hooked up our data was transmitted to the display, which is inside wherever you choose to put it. The information that is on the display told us how much electricity we were using and the cost per watt. We had fun going around and turning lights and appliances on and off to see what it would do at first, and the experts aren’t lying when they say that unplugging electronic devices can save you money. Because various motors in your refrigerator and such cycle at different times, it can be hard to get a fix at first on individual devices, but with some practice and pattern-detection skills, it gets easier. Of course, we would’ve loved a little better interface, but all in all, it worked pretty well. It just would’ve been nice to have some additional feedback- little rewards like a green readout when you’ve reduced power week-over-week.

    Our overall usage went down considerably while things like the TV and computers were unplugged as opposed to just being shut off (beware vampire power!) Eventually we quit horsing around, and just let it do itʻs thing. Toward the end of our testing period we found that we were much more cognizant of what was being left on, and more importantly we were wasting a lot less energy. Lights got turned off, radios and TV got turned off. Even aside from the monetary savings we also found a new level of peace and quiet.

    Depending how much you alter your energy usage you could potentially save 20% off of your electricity bill, and your awareness of your energy consumption will certainly go up with this device. Itʻs available online from select retailers and will run you around $110.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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