Oh, man…home gadgets can be so cool. Just take a look at Lucid Design Group’s Building Dashboard system for your home computer. It’s a piece of software for those tech nerds out there who also happen to be environmentally conscious tree hugger types. It allows homeowners to track their home energy consumption in several areas. From electricity and water use to solar electricity production and the amount of water collected from rainwater systems. “The interactive display shows how the home is performing at any given moment and how current performance compares to performance over the last month.” It can also calculate your cost of consumption and even provide you with the current and forecasted weather reports.
Their system was featured in Wired magazine’s recently introduced Home of the Future, which is a 4 million dollar LEED certified home meant to combine the best luxury and environmentally sound products on the homebuilding market today. Clearly, you need to have a fat wallet to get this up and running, but how cool would it be to marry the old with the new? Renovate or build a vintage home and include this type of cutting edge technology…when I get there I’ll let you know.
Oh, and if you want a cheaper way to do some energy monitoring, check out what DIY Kyoto has put together. It’s called Wattson and it’s designed to pick up home electrical use within roughly 30 meters of the transmitter you install near the home’s electrical supply. A stylish digital readout on the top of the wireless display can show how much electricity it takes to run, say your TV or microwave, and switching off items in your home will result in the display showing what it costs to keep that item running. Another cool feature are the lights on the underbelly of the display. They turn blue when your electrical use is low and red when high. You can also connect Wattson to your computer, upload your energy consumption data and analyze it further or compare it to other Wattson users. Cost is about $300 though when I tried to place an order there was no option for folks in the U.S.