Most of the energy monitoring tools on the market right now gather aggregate information about the overall electricity use of a home. But the new eMonitor from PowerHouse Dynamics could change all this with circuit level monitoring. The eMonitor solution combines hardware, software, and service elements to provide home electricity use, electricity cost, and carbon footprint information by the minute. Past and present information is then available online and on the iPhone (starting in about Q2 2010).
You've probably seen one of the latest Apple commercials. The husband turns to his wife and asks, "Did we turn off the lights." The savvy wife, with her iPhone and Schlage LiNK app, responds with something like, "WE turned off the lights," while she does the same on her phone without her husband's help.
The commercial caught my attention, and I wanted to see what kind of capabilities this Schlage LiNK app had. Turns out the system is powered by Z-Wave technology to smarten typically unintelligent aspects of living. Some of the things you can do include:
The other day, Martin Holladay, a blogger for Green Building Advisor, mentioned this energy-efficiency pyramid, which I found to be quite interesting. He said The Pyramid of Conservation originated from Bob McLean, CEO at Hunt Utilities Group, and was created for Minnesota Power. Minnesota Power uses the interactive graphic to help customers determine where to start when taking on energy efficiency projects.
When you buy a house, there’s no clear way to know what you’re getting. There’s no miles per gallon sticker, as with cars, or nutrition label, as with foods. You’ll pay for an inspection and walk through the place any number of times, but you definitely can’t see through the walls. It’s strange that we allow ourselves to spend, or mortgage, so much with so little information.
Yesterday, President Obama toured a training facility at Savannah Technical College and took the opportunity to outline more detail on the proposed HOMESTAR Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program. The program has been called "Cash for Caulkers" due to similarities with Cash for Clunkers, but we're going to stick with the HOMESTAR terminology. Here's some additional detail.
Despite the fact that we are now living in the 21st century, aerogel insulation seems like a material out of science-fiction. It is the lightest solid known, although by volume it is 99% air. It is breathable, but it doesn't absorb water. It is incredibly strong for its weight. But most importantly, it is a fantastic insulator.