Fortunately, the geniuses of Silicon Valley have us covered. Last month, Wattvision, a start-up from the Y Combinator incubator, began shipping the Wattvision Energy Sensor. The Sensor is a wi-fi enabled, user-friendly device that monitors your energy meter and provides real-time data on your energy use with updates coming every 10 seconds. And, quite importantly, sells for under $260, a not-so-unreasonable sum in today’s tech market.
The Wattvision comes in two parts: a sensor that fits over your electricity meter (you literally strap it right over the housing of the meter); and a “gateway” that pushed the data to your personal WattVision web page, iPhone or Android device. Using the device you can literally run around the house, turn out lights and see your energy usage dropping every ten seconds.
More importantly, you can monitor your long-term usage and find peek times of energy use. Got the heat blasting in the middle of the day when you’re at work? Wattvision will see the peak. Is your dishwasher sucking more energy than you thought – you’ll know that too. By having this data literally at your fingertips, you’ll be able to smooth out the peaks, save money and help reduce CO2 emissions.
Keeping up with the Joneses
In addition to giving you your own WattVision dashboard, the company has a rankings page that allows you to see how other households are doing and compare your scores. It also pushes your data to the Google PowerMeter system which provides more data and community interactions.
For the truly geeked-out, WattVision has published an API, so if this catches on we should soon see all sorts of great applications coming out of the programming community for the device.
This holiday season you can either get your tech-savvy loved one an Xbox Kinect or a device that will help them manage the energy their Xbox is sucking up every day.
Things are looking great for Savraj, founder of Wattvision, which I'm proud to say is a Das Kapital Capital portfolio company. Grab a device for yourself (or a loved one) and let me know what you think!