We are always on the prowl for gadgets that help reduce home energy consumption and save money. Three new Energy Saver Series tools from Black & Decker can soon be added to our artillery for fighting excess energy usage.
Specially designed for easy integration into daily life, the three tools help to cut costs through easy monitoring of power use on home appliances to lower monthly bills, automatic lighting so the lights are only on when you want them to be, and (perfect for this time of year) detecting drafts so you can catch insulation problems before they catch hold of your wallet. The Power Monitor
Black & Decker says utilizing this little device can save you as much as 20% on your monthly energy bills. Of course that amount depends on how extensively someone uses it. We're always looking for tips and trick on how to reduce electricity use, and much like the Wattson, this device can help by telling you in real-time how much electricity you’re using, and how much that is costing you.
It works by attaching a wireless sensor to your electricity meter, which tracks usage and transmits the data to a monitor inside the house. You program in the info about your utility costs and the device tells you what your energy consumption means in dollars – the big motivator for conservation.
The coolest part – you can carry the monitor around the house, switching off appliances and unplugging gadgets, and literally see the change right then in your use amount and expected monthly energy bill. It’d be a great way to teach kids and family members the full impact of each little gadget and flipped switch.
Speaking of switches…
Lights Out Autoswitch
The next tool coming from Black & Decker is a sensor switch for lights. It’s basically what you get in a lot of public restrooms or offices. The device attaches to the existing light switch plate and a scans the room for motions. When someone walks in, it turns on. When they walk out, it turns off. It can stay on for 1-30 minutes after it stops sensing motion, depending on how you program it.
While many energy-conscious people are already in the habit of switching off the lights as they exit a room, this could still be great for homes with lots of activity and dear, sweet forgetful kids who maybe aren't getting the hint from energy-conscious Tinkerbell and friends. Of course, it’s also cool as a security device – freak out any entering burglars. The Motionbulb can also do a similar trick.
Thermal Leak Detector
This just might be my favorite energy-zapping device of the series. It’s frustrating to be sitting in a room and feel a waft of cold air and you can’t figure out where it’s coming from. And it makes turning up the heater extraordinarily frustrating because you don’t want all that heat getting wasted! The Thermal Leak Detector helps you locate drafts and areas that aren’t well insulated so you can make improvements.
The hand-held device measures the surface temperature of walls, flooring, etc as you move along and notes a drop or spike in temperature. You can hone in on the draft and add the insulation, caulking or what have you as needed.
Considering we’re heading into winter soon, this will be perfect for making sure your energy costs stay low through the cold months. It also helps uncover drafts from surprising places like outlet plates and recessed lighting fixtures.
Black & Decker apparently likes the 20% figure, because they note that this device and the subsequent insulation improvements can save you 20% on heating and cooling bills.
The Power Monitor is available to consumers now at amazon.com. The Thermal Leak Detector and Lights Out will be available in December.
More on Saving Money by Conserving Energy:
How to Green Your Electricity
Remote Control your Home's Energy Use with Ploggs
Answers to All Your Electricity Questions Help Save Energy
Save Energy by Avoiding Phantom Power