2012-05-14

Co.Exist

Energy Saver: An App That Saves Cash And Resources

Want to check what kind of power your toaster is using, from the comfort of your phone? Now there’s an app for that.

If you spend a lot of time on your cell phone, you know it’s often easier to accomplish tasks on the ever-present handset than, say, on a computer. That’s why the $2.99 EnergySaver app makes so much sense.

Like many devices before it, EnergySaver lets you track your energy and water consumption. But by allowing you to also analyze--and modify--that consumption, the app potentially saves you a bundle of cash. The app is simple enough: Select from a number of presets--based on your state--to select the correct utility rates for energy, gas, and water. Then add in your appliances (anything from your washing machine to your blender) and how long you use them. EnergySaver spits out analyzed data in pie chart, bar, or list form so that you can see which appliances are using all your energy. If you’re really concerned that one single device is sucking up most of your power, it probably makes sense to install something like the Kill a Watt, which analyzes energy consumption from a single outlet.

In theory, this app sounds great--and it is for the hardcore energy trackers among us. The problem is that most people won’t sit around inputting energy and water consumption all day, even with easy accessibility on a smartphone. If the app is eventually upgraded to include personal smart-meter data, it will become much easier to use.

In the meantime, there are other options. Opower, Facebook, and the NRDC recently teamed up to create an app that pulls your home energy information and analyzes it thanks to partnerships with utilities across the U.S. It won’t give you a breakdown of how much energy each appliance uses, but it can at least give you an idea of how much energy you’re consuming compared to friends.

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