Nascent Home Tech Aims to Slash Energy Hogs

House Off Switch GreenSwitch

When I was growing up, if there was an errant light or something on, my dad would take my brothers and sisters into the room and say something like, "kids, this light isn’t going to turn itself off and it isn’t free to keep on either."  Needless to say, I learned to turn things off at a young age.  To make this process easier, two pieces of technology aim to eliminate the need to micro-manage electronics in your home. 

There’s the GreenSwitch and the House-Off Switch.  The premise of each is that there’s a singular switch that turns off all non-essential electronic items that have been set up to the switch.  The designer of the House-Off Switch (pictured top left) is Jack Godfrey Wood, who is based in London (and I’m not sure whether his concept is being marketed at this point).  The GreenSwitch (pictured top right) is the real deal and is supported by our favorite green expert, Ed Begley Jr.

Here’s how the GreenSwitch works.  The central switch controls all the slave components that have been set up and home installation takes about an hour.  There are 4 simple pieces you may use: (1) master switch, (2) thermostat control, (3) slave wall switches, and (4) outlets.  You decide what you have a tendency to leave on or which areas are vampires and install the proper piece at that position.  The relay between the master and slave is wireless, microchip-controlled radio frequency (RF) based communication, so there’s no getting in the attic with wires, etc.  And as a side note, according to the Department of Energy, 10-15% of the what you pay for on your energy bill is from stand-by or phantom power, so to the extent that you can trim that down, you’re saving money.  Basic Kit MSRPs for $1125.00. 


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  • http://www.got2begreen.com Susan

    This is even better than the smart power strip. :D

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    @susan,
    You know that’s a good point and I thought about that. The power strip is cheaper, but the central switch idea is just more convenient, I think. It’s kind of like, “well, I probably should shut down my power strips, but I can’t really reach ‘em and I need to get out of the house in a hurry …” Once set up, the central power switch offers a compelling solution to just shutting down the energy hogs. It’s so simple.

  • Brian

    I am not sure why everyone is making a big deal out of this. Z-wave and Insteon systems have been out for several years that are much cheaper, off the shelf, and very extensible. No controllers or servers are needed, and are approx 30 to 50 bucks a switch.

    And they can be configured to do the exact same thing.

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