Monitor your power use

A year ago I wrote about hybrid electric cars and the statement “that which gets measured improves.” If you put a meter on your car, on your calorie intake, on your television usage, on anything really, you start paying attention to your behavior and you can’t help but change your habits of consumption. If only it were easy to see how much electricity you were using every day, you could probably save a lot without even working at it very hard. In fact, this idea inspired a Viridian design competition a few years ago. The winner was supposed to be fun to look at and easy to use, thereby inspiring lots of people to use it. But I don’t believe anyone ever built one.

Long time Rambles reader Randy was kind enough to send in this interesting tidbit about a more practical monitoring device being marketed by a firm in Newfoundland: Device to piggyback power meters. Sounds like a good idea… after all, there’s already a meter on your house. It’s just a matter of getting at it conveniently.

Better still, here is an article by Mark Frauenfelder about the wireless Zigbee widget: ZigBee Spins The Carousel of Progress Forward. It’s a mass market device to let your computer talk (via Bluetooth and WiFi) to all kinds of things in your house, including electric meters. This looks to finally be the one that people might buy.

And for God’s sake, stop letting the water run when you brush your teeth.