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Consumer Technology This "energy orb" lets you know when the price of electricity goes up, reminds you to unplug and turn off what you're not using.

Published on March 12th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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3 Cool Gadgets to Help You Save Energy



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This "energy orb" lets you know when the price of electricity goes up, reminds you to unplug and turn off what you're not using.

We often just go shopping for what we need, or for what is “hot” at the moment (i.e. an iPad 2). While I am definitely not one to support going out and buying things you don’t need, there are a number of cleantech gadgets that can green your life and, thus, help you save money while helping protect the planet.

Here are 3 cool, cleantech gadgets that I think could help you to save energy at home or work:

  1. The Energy Detective (TED): Find out how much energy you’re using (in real-time), where your using it, and how to cut back and save the most money. By viewing in-home, real-time electricity data, independent studies have shown that the average household will cut 8-15% off their electricity bill. TED is the market leader in electricity monitors, for a reason.
  2. Energy Orb: When electricity usage on your electric grid starts to peak, chances are you are charged more for the electricity you are using. This handy little gadget receives and displays up-to-the-minute information on the price you are being charged for electricity and helps you to know when you should really look around and see what you should unplug or turn off (not that you should always do that). The ingenious thing about this “energy orb” is that it changes colors as prices change — from green to light green to yellow to orange to red. This will get your attention and will help you remember to cut back on your usage without much effort. It looks pretty cool, too (image above).
  3. Visible Energy UFO Power Center & Energy UFO+ iPad app or iPhone/iPod touch app (video below): Every 5 minutes, electricity usage info is collected on the devices plugged into your UFO Power Center. Similar to the Energy Orb, an LED light in the UFO Power Center will change green to yellow to red to very generally let you know how much electricity is being used. You can also see “visual feedback on the energy consumption and cost of operating each device plugged into the intelligent UFO Power Center via in-home displays such as the Energy UFO iPhone application or the Energy Dashboard for PC browsers.” You can also set the UFO Power Center to turn devices on or off automatically at certain times or under certain conditions, and you can turn devices on or off with your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The UFO Power Center is currently in beta, so it’s not quite available for everyone yet. The apps, if you are not a participant in the beta program, show measurements from a software simulator running on Visible Energy’s server.

Cool gadgets that could save you energy. Look into getting one (or all 3).

For more: 10 More Cool Green Gadgets for Saving Electricity

Related Article: Is Energy Efficiency Really Good? (A Look at the “Rebound Effect”)

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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