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Nest is a Next-Gen Smart Thermostat

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.

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The EPA Upgrades DVR Efficiency Rules

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!

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Wittus Intros Efficient Wood Pellet Stove

Toba is an award-winning pellet stove designed in Italy by MCZ Group SpA in collaboration with EMO.  The simple, modern appliance can warm a space of about 1,800 square feet at more than 90% efficiency, according to Wittus, which announced plans in June 2011 to import Toba into the US.

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