Outspoken Carbon Monitoring: Zerofootprint's RFID TalkingPlugs
The CEO of Zerofootprint, Ron Dembo, is a man who has often written and been written about on TreeHugger. Now it looks like this outspoken man is ready to let the world's power plugs start speaking for themselves. Zerofootprint, his energy and carbon management firm, has broken into the hardware world with TalkingPlugs, a system that includes devices that attach over existing electrical outlets, giving them special powers: namely the ability to wirelessly transmit their energy output and, inversely, to be remotely controlled and programmed. This opens to door to some very cool features.First, energy consumption for a home or business can be evaluated on a devise-by-devise basis. TalkingPlugs assign a unique identifier to each power-hungry gadget that gets plugged into it, whether a hair dryer, air compressor, or web server. Each devise is then given its own power meter within Zerofootprint's Velo carbon management system. And because each devise gets its own ID, it doesn't matter which socket you plug into; it'll keep track.
Also, because each TalkingPlug is programmable and capable of remote on/off, individual devices can be powered up or down as needed. In other words, this is an anti-vampire power bazooka.
Finally, all these detailed data points make benchmarking and comparison between peers easier than ever. Zerofootprint is fond of using competition to spur conservation (see the Z Prize), and Ron Dembo has high hopes that this will allow peer groups to closely compare their energy usage, whether these be homes, businesses, hospitals, government buildings, etc.
If you're eager to get your place hooked up, be patient a moment longer. Zerofootprint is "currently working with utility companies, appliance manufacturers and technology resellers" to get the system out there.
More on Zerofootprint and Carbon Management:
New Skins for Old Towers: The Z-Prize For Low-Carbon Retrofit
The TH Interview: ZeroFootprint CEO Ron Dembo
Zerofootprint Toronto Goes Live!
Zerofootprint Offers Earth Day Carbon Calculator