The GE Ecomagination Challenge is all about powering the home of the future, and among the many great ideas that have been submitted is the Outlet Power Usage Monitor from Sasseen, a college student from Lake Ozark, Missouri.
This concept works, like many smart plug/energy monitors, by keeping track of the amount of energy that flows out of a given outlet. It’s different, though, in the fact that it doesn’t offer real-time data at the plug, but cumulative data concerning how much juice has been expended from that plug to date. Simply put in the outlet monitor and press the button: the display will show you the amount of electricity and money you used in just that outlet for the month or year. This, according to Sasseen, can help homeowners determine exactly which appliances are contributing the most to their electric bills, and to pull the plug accordingly.
Plans are currently in the works to create a version of this monitor that can communicate wirelessly with other networked appliances and the Internet via WiFi and/or ZigBee protocols, but the originator of the concept views that as the final step on the project, for which he’s currently seeking funds and loan options to help with development.
You can support the Outlet Power Usage Monitor in its bid for the Ecomagination Challenge online.