By John DeFore
One of the most buzzed-about Green Tech items over the last year has been the Kill A Watt, a gizmo that tells you exactly how much power is being used over time by any single appliance you plug into it. (We covered it last year in the context of multiple “know your footprint” ideas.)
Now the device’s makers have given it a serious upgrade, a tweak offering enough everyday usefulness that one can envision it being used by folks who don’t think of themselves as green freaks. The Kill A Watt PS, after all, functions at one level just like any other surge-protecting power strip you might use to protect a half-dozen computer peripherals or home-entertainment components while only using one power outlet.
It does so, though, with the power-conscious features of the earlier tool built-in. It measures the amount of power you use, not just for a single device, but for a whole room’s worth of gear, letting users easily find out how much, say, a month’s worth of Monday Night Football really costs them. It stores data, so totals aren’t lost during power outages, and warns users when their electrical load is higher than a circuit should have to bear.
Beyond household issues, though, the device also monitors tech details having to do not with usage but with the consistency of the power being supplied by your utility — encouraging, one imagines, an increased awareness of the kind of power-grid issues our nation’s leaders are only starting to confront now.
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