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The Modlet

November 4, 2010

It’s obvious that you’re using electricity when you’re using the mixer in the kitchen, or listening to the stereo in the living room, or using your computer by task light. But what about when you’re not using your appliances or when you leave the house? Most appliances are still drawing electricity when they are in standby mode, which is inefficient and wasteful. But you’re probably not going to go around the house and unplug everything when you leave to run an errand.

That’s why the Modlet by ThinkEco is a pretty amazing device. It’s a two outlet smart power strip that communicates with your computer (through a USB drive) about power consumption. It will show you which outlets are drawing the most power, how much, and (if you provide the cost per kilowatt hour) the cost of each. And here’s what I think is incredible — you can control any of the plugged in appliances from any computer browser. So, let’s say you look at the real time graph and realize that wow, your printer is costing you a lot more than you thought and you hardly ever use it. Well, you can remotely tell the Modlet to power it off. You can even set up a schedule so that Monday through Friday when you’re at work, your kitchen appliances will be powered off, but when you come home to cook dinner they will be back on and ready for use. So cool!

Smart technologies that can help us become more aware of our power consumption and control it will lead to far greater efficiency. ThinkEco claims that the Modlet will save the average consumer 10-20% on their electricity bill. It could yield even greater savings in a commercial setting that houses a higher number of appliances. The Modlet is still being tested but should be out by early next year and will likely cost around $40. It may seem expensive for a power strip but remember, it’s a smart power strip and will pay for itself quickly in energy savings.


photo via Architect magazine

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