The average home spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills and roughly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy. When a programmable thermostat is set and used properly, a homeowner can save about $180 annually. But the problem is, virtually everyone with a programmable thermostat doesn’t set or use it properly. Nest Labs, a Palo Alto-based start-up, aims to solve this problem with a new thermostat that’s simple, sleek, intuitive, and smart.
A few months back, the New York Times put a spotlight on the obscene energy use of cable, DVR, and other set-top boxes. There are 160 million set-top boxes in the US, according to the EPA, and these boxes annually consume about $3 billion in electricity. What’s shocking is the fact that about 66% of this electricity is spent when no one is watching and no shows are being recorded. In the home, the DOE estimates that two set-top boxes will use about 500 kWh of energy every year — more energy than it takes to run a new refrigerator!
One of the many friends of Jetson Green in attendance at Greenbuild this year pointed our attention to the ecobee thermostat, a high-tech, wirelessly connected, programmable thermostat. In addition to controlling temperature, ecobee also gives you control over the fan settings (allowing you to have the air circulation operate for a minimum number of minutes per hour). Ecobee measures humidity and can be used to control humidification/dehumidification equipment.
Florida-based Lighting Science Group (LSG) recently announced a new LED product called Glimpse. The Title 24-compliant downlight is compatible with most 5″ and 6″ recessed cans and can be surface mounted to a J-box as a luminaire. Glimpse is Energy Star qualified in all model types, according to a press release, and provides up to 20% more light than other products on the market with the 750 lumen package.
Earlier this summer, LittleFootprint Lighting announced the availability of a high-performance task light for home or office called the HeronLED Personal Task Light. The light is designed and made in the USA with recycled plastic from e-waste and uses a replaceable LED bulb as the light source.
EnergyHub just announced the launch of an energy management system for consumers interested in monitoring, controlling, and reducing energy use. The system includes an in-home display, wireless thermostat, sockets, and strips, as well as iOS and Android apps for on-the-go control. Some purchasers will also be able to integrate the system with data from their smart meter if they have a compatible meter.