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Sensing Your Home’s Energy Inefficiencies

Shwetak Patel, 2011 MacArthur Fellow and Sensor Technologist Shwetak Patel researches low-cost, easy to use sensor technologies which allow residents to track their energy use per appliance in order to detect inefficiencies and save energy.

Understand Your Electricity Bill: the Secret to Saving on your Energy Consumption

Several tools can help you understand your energy consumption, one of which being smart meters. Smart meters collect real-time data on electricity consumption unlike home energy monitors which simply report total power usage. Furthermore smart meters allow for remote, two way communication and do not necessitate being read monthly by an individual who walks from house to […]

Painting the Town(hall) Green

In April 2000 Mayor Richard M. Daley stood at the very (VERY!) top of City Hall, perhaps feeling a bit of vertigo but mostly overjoyed at the sense of accomplishment. He looked about him and gazed upon the dark roofs of the surrounding skyscrapers. He closed his eyes for a moment, imagining instead a sea […]

The Dracula of Vampires. (Reducing Energy Consumption Part 2)

Of all the appliances in your home which suck energy even while turned off, cable boxes waste more energy than refrigerators or even some air-conditioning systems. American companies demonstrate a lack of interest in improving the energy efficiency of cable boxes because they are afraid that customers would become annoyed at having to wait for […]

The Facets of Sustainable Living

The US Department of Transportation developed new fuel-efficiency standards requiring cars for model years 2017-2025 to have a performance of at least 54.5mpg. (For more insight, see the infographic: Going the Distance) Increasing fuel efficiency would reduce oil consumption, pollution, and household spending. Yet, you don’t have to wait until 2017 for these three things to […]

Combating the Vampires Among Us. A Simple Method for Reducing Energy Consumption?

A species of vampires has proliferated under our very noses. Instead of blood, they suck electricity; instead of sharp pointy teeth, they rely on power plugs. These “vampires” take the shape of home electronic appliances which continue to use electricity even when turned “off.” Examples of such energy waste include printers which perpetually remain in […]