Monitoring Home Energy Use is Fashionable
Three recent Royal College of Art students have brought to market an extraordinarily fun and fashionable product called Watson. Watson, seen below, monitors your household energy usage in real time and reminds you how you're doing with a real cost figure, and more subtle shades of green red and blue light.
The gizmo comes with software to track energy use through the year which links in with a lively online network of users worldwide. The average energy use per Watson user can be seen online along with user comments of frustration, "The Lights... The Lights... The Lights... The hell of halogens...", and of joy,
"I've been waiting for the online community for the last 450 days! Well done DIY KYOTO! This is my Power Usage for the last 422 days! Note it drops during the summer because the storage heaters are turned off!"
I saw the team and the device in London recently and can say that this really is a fascinating little contraption and movement. It's surprisingly small, very stylish, and irresistibly fun. They cost just under 100 GBP but quickly offset their cost in energy savings. While the group does not have a full breakdown of the environmental impact of production, they can ensure that since they craft them by hand in the office, the air miles are low and there certainly aren't any under-age and under-paid workers manufacturing the things.
You can find out more about DIY KYOTO at http://www.diykyoto.com/uk