CES 2011: Modlet Plug For Window ACs

We told you earlier this week about ThinkEco’s Modlet, one of many products at the Consumer Electronics Show this year that’s about trimming energy use without giving up our creature comforts. Now the company and the utility Con Edison have hooked up in a bid to deliver better control over the operation of a specific, energy-hogging device: the window air conditioner.

ThinkEco said Con Edison would lead an effort to develop a Modlet especially for window ACs, with the goal of having a pilot program up and running this coming summer. “The window AC modlet will make these air-conditioning units demand response ready and help consumers to use electricity more wisely,” said Jun Shimada, president and CEO of ThinkEco Inc.

ThinkEco Modlet, air conditioners

image via ThinkEco

Demand response refers to an appliance’s ability to receive a signal from the grid to stop operation. This could indeed save users money by shutting off their AC at peak-use periods, though, of course, it might also leave them sweaty.

ThinkEco claims that by giving users knowledge and control of the energy flowing through their sockets to devices, they can cut their bills by 10 percent.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.