Hot gear to help save energy
Unlike Kermit the Frog’s lament, it’s getting easier to be green. From the simple to the high-tech, here are five things that can help you save power, the planet and money.
Clockwise from left:
Knowledge is not only power, but it’s also the ability to save power. With the PowerCost Monitor, you can track your energy use and see the effects of turning off various devices in your home. This information can allow you to reduce your consumption by five to 20 per cent. The monitor works with both an electromechanical meter (the older style with the spinning disc) and a new smart meter. $150, www.bluelineinnovations.com
Are phantoms hanging around your electrical outlets? Phantom load (a.k.a. idle current, vampire power or wall wart) is the energy draw made by devices that are turned off but still plugged in. It’s not only a waste of power and resources but money too. The U.S. Department of Energy says that 75 per cent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when the products are turned off. The Watt Stopper IsolÃ© plug load controller lets you clamp down on these energy suckers. The IsolÃ© has two standard outlets and six that are controlled by a motion detector. When you enter the room, the sensor sends power to the outlets. If you leave, a timer determines when power is cut, between 30 seconds and 30 minutes. $120, www.wattstopper.com
With these Whole Home “Newport” insulated drapes, it’s curtains for heat loss or gain, depending on the season. A cotton front adds colour to your room, while polyester-acrylic foam insulation keeps the heat in during the winter and blocks the heat from sunrays during the summer. $60—$200, www.sears.ca
Why run your bathroom sink when there is fresh water on the move right after you flush? The toilet lid sink runs the water coming into the toilet tank through a spout so you can wash your hands with 6 l or 13 l of the clean stuff. The soapy water then runs back into the tank and you later flush away the grey water. Now, that’s efficiency. $90, Real Goods
When hot water goes down the drain, you lose not only the waste but valuable energy too. With the Power-Pipe, fresh water runs through the tube that encircles the waste pipe. Heat is transferred from the waste water to the fresh, which means your hot-water tank doesn’t have to work as hard. The Power-Pipe can save up to 40 per cent of your water-heating costs. $590—$800, www.renewability.com