Reposted from: New York Times 4/11/12
When Max Dunn walks through his kitchen in San Jose, Calif., he often glances at the home energy monitor that sits on the counter top. The monitor resembles a car’s GPS device and connects wirelessly to the home’s power meter.
The display tells him at any given moment how much electricity the house is using, and on a recent afternoon, the reading was higher than usual for that time of day. So he turned off a home computer that no one was using and the lights in an unoccupied room.
By spending $149 on the monitor and just a few minutes a day checking it and turning things off or down, he has consistently reduced his electricity use, he says — in some months, by up to 30 percent.
Mr. Dunn, who works as a software consultant in Silicon Valley, is what marketing executives call an early adopter, someone who is quick to embrace new technology ahead of the mainstream.
Still, according to Parks Associates, a consumer research firm, about 60 percent of homes will have some form of home energy management network by 2022. This is good news for the companies that make these devices and the retailers who sell them. But are Mr. Dunn’s results a statistical outlier, or will all this technology help significantly reduce the power our homes consume and the dollars we spend?
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