Energenie had the greenest booth in the Sustainable Planet TechZone -- literally. Everything was lit up in green lighting. So it was hard to pass by without taking a closer look at the tools they're providing to folks interested in saving energy. There were three products I particularly liked.
First is a remote GSM Contolled Power Socket (below) which can monitor and control whatever is plugged into it in several different ways. First, it can be controlled with your cell phone simply by sending a text message. Yes, you can text your TV to please turn off. Second, it can monitor temperature of the device plugged into it. So for instance, if you leave a hair straightener plugged in, or something is overheating while turned on, it can sense that an automatically shut off. And finally you can go about things the old-fashioned way by setting a timer, making it perfect for things like lamps.
The second device I liked is the Radio Controlled Extension Lead (above) which can be controlled with a remote. Each socket is controlled separately so you can turn off individual devices with a remote. Now there's no excuse for not shutting off the lights that are plugged in behind the couch or powering down the entire entertainment center when you leave for vacation.
Now, to realize a return on investment, you have to actively use the power strip and power socket to turn off your appliances and devices when not in use. Stand-by power is continually shrinking as energy efficiency standards improve, so while these tools are useful, it will be awhile before you break even (and you will probably never break even when factoring in embedded energy in the manufacturing and transportation of the products).
Aside from shrinking stand-by power, then these are useful for making sure appliances left on actually get turned off. If you are routinely forgetting to turn off items like hair straighteners, lamps, coffee makers and so on, then the Power Socket could actually be a serious money and energy-saver.
Finally, the third item I liked isn't all that fancy. In fact, it's the opposite of fancy, which makes it so ideal. It is a very simple universal cell phone case. Because all different models of cell phones require all different sized and shaped cases, there is a slew of cases that are obsolete once a user switches phones. But this little case works for a wide range of cell phones, making it a long-lived, helpful gadget.
You can check out Energenie's website for details on buying these and more energy-saving devices.