Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Self-help gadget for electricity cost reduction

Some time in the future our equipment will negotiate for best price energy without our having to do anything. But in 2008, if we want to reduce our electricity bills we have to do it ourselves. Studies show that installing equipment to show people their current electricity usage has a big impact on their usage. For a short time. But when the novelty wears off we tend to slide back to our old habits. Here is an idea for a gadget to keep reminding us to use electricity efficiently.

Having done your initial measurement, you can tell a gadget your target electricity usage for the day. Once you reach this amount and alarm goes off and the gadget flashes an anoying red. Only 6pm and you've busted your limit again. Of course you will start to ignore this after a while as well, but maybe by then you might have got into the habit of switching the lights off or running the washing machine at night (so you don't hear that alarm going off!).

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