The Green Button initiative, which gives customers access to their energy consumption data, is gathering steam as three California utilities announced in January they are offering the standardized energy use data to more than 10 million customers. The initial announcement by San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric was followed by Glendale Power and Water, and Pepco Holdings, Inc., which said it will provide the streamlined data by summer of 2012 as it continues to deploy smart meters in its service area.
Panasonic Corp. recently announced a breakthrough tankless toilet called “Arauno V,” according to newswire AFP Relax News. This isn’t one of those toilets where the tank is hidden in the wall, rather the toilet draws water directly from the home water supply. And the bowl is engineered like a tornado to cleanly circulate waste down the drain.
Induction cooktops are expensive but they’re also fast and efficient — a report for the Department of Energy says induction has a cooking efficiency of 84%. So when a company combines the efficiency of induction cooking with new cutting-edge technology, as shown by Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop, there’s going to be some interest.
Switch Lighting, creator of the only LED that uses liquid cooling technology, is on the cusp of a breakout year in 2012. The Switch bulb creates the same warm color of an incandescent, yet it’s made with reclaimable or recyclable materials using the Cradle to Cradle methodology. Inside the bulb is a liquid thermal cooling solution that helps cool the LEDs from all sides, producing more light from less LEDs. In fact, a Switch bulb lasts about 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than an incandescent.
At CES 2012, Wireless Glue Networks launched its second-generation in-home display called SmartLook. SmartLook provides direct wireless access to smart meters with real-time information and is “The World’s First Refrigerator Magnet In-home Display,” according to Wireless Glue Networks. SmartLook relays pricing information so homeowners can learn what saves energy and money at the same time. It also stores historical usage and pricing information. NRG Energy has a booth at CES showcasing the display; keep an eye out for something like this through your local electricity provider.