What devices in your home use the most energy?
Your fridge? Your TV? Your car?
Currently, the best you can do is make assumptions based off of the figures on your appliances' labels. Not only is this horrible way to spend your free time, it will also be guesswork — an electronic's power usage rate changes with time and even the temperature outside.
But that may soon change. MIT just created a single sensor that attaches to your main powerline and reports back to you on which devices consume the most power, which will help you analyze your trouble spots and perhaps buy something more energy efficient.
The device was invented by MIT’s Steven Leeb and recent grads David Lawrence and John Donnal, and the results were co-authored by James Paris in a series of papers for IEEE Xplore early this week.
It’s simple to install, about the size of a postage stamp and uses no power.
According to MIT News, it picks up data very quickly and can discern “detailed information about spikes and patterns in the voltage and current” and “tell the difference between every different kind of light, motor, and other device in the home and show exactly which ones go on and off, at what times.”
No details on when it’ll be ready for market, but Leeb is shooting for a retail cost of $25-30.
Once it saves you a few grand on energy bills, that might just be the best $30 you'll ever spend.