I always enjoy the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and each year I identify the latest technology that I think represent a major leap forward and is particularly note worthy for my audience. This year I was struck by the advances in energy saving products. This is especially relevant for Washington residents as the cost of electricity is expected to double in the next three years.
Wind is now becoming a viable option as a residential power source. This picture is from West Seattle Natural Energy and just one of many options they provide. High winds frequently knock out a lot of power in our area, and a wind turbine is often most effective in these same conditions, providing a constant source of power.
Smart grids had a high level of visibility at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The consumer grid interface appears on any of your electronic devices such as your PC, iPad, smart phone apps and easily monitors your environment and energy usage, such as the temperature, check security cameras, turn lights on to give the impression someone is home, etc. This has a direct correlation to ‘Smart Grid’ technology that is often discussed.
Courtesy: Martin La Monica/ CNET
Smart bulbs by Greenwave are programmable energy monitors and savers. They can be programmed with user friendly color coded dials that allow the consumer to remotely and systematically control when the light is on and off, and can monitor energy use.
*ThinkEco's new product is my favorite; an electric plug that can communicate with a PC through a USB key. The system can track how much energy various electronic devices use and let people schedule things to turn off at set times. It lets people cut down on wasted power when things are left on but aren't being used or by eliminating stand-by and vampire power. A consumer product, priced at $50, is due this spring.
I just love this concept home by Karim Rashid, which features reclaimed wood and glass materials, solar panels, and eco friendly radiant heat floors. Yes, it has a living room, a full bath, kitchen, and a bedroom, and even a plunge pool from collected rain water.