March 8, 2014

This past winter our family experienced a power outage due to ice-laden tree limbs falling on power lines.  The Electric Power Board truck came roaring into our driveway one afternoon to make the necessary repairs.  The cherry-picker had the technician in the air in no time.  The work was completed in about an hour.  I brought both techs a cup of coffee and started a conversation regarding the capacity of the transformer hanging in my backyard.  I was very surprised to find the device, supplying five (5) houses was running at 250% capacity.  This was approximate, but close enough.  We have lived in our home for thirty-eight (38) years but apparently the devices needing voltage supplies have increased tremendously.  I was told computers, charging mobile phones, stereo equipment, home entertainment centers, microwave ovens, etc have added greatly to electrical demands.

Given below are five of the best energy-saving gadgets you can implement within your home. From kettles to phone chargers, these devices endeavor to reduce your energy usage and provide you with an array of easy-to-use, innovative household amenities.




Nest has engineered an easy-to-install, energy-saving home thermostat.  This device interrogates your daily routine and automatically adapts its settings to suit your heating preferences throughout the day. All you have to do is alter the thermostat to your particular needs, and the Nest will develop a personalized heating schedule. You can alter this schedule at any time should your preferences change. What’s more, a special Leaf feature informs you of the most energy-efficient temperatures for your home. A handy Auto-Away option ensures that your heating is turned off when you leave. Irrespective of your living arrangements, the Nest is a thermostat that adapts to your every need. It saves you energy while offering you optimum heating comfort.  The device sells for about $249.00 and takes about one week to “learn” the comforts you wish.  It also has a remote control device.




If you always leave your phone charger plugged in, this ingenious gadget is for you. The Belkin Conserve Valet enables you to charge four devices at the same time. Moreover, when charging is complete, the device cuts the power completely, thereby saving you from expending unnecessary energy on a plugged-in charger. It also monitors the power gauges of your devices to ensure they are always fully charged via the most environmentally economical method available.  Most chargers continue to use power as long as they’re plugged into the wall—even after you unplug your device. The Conserve Valet Smart USB Charging Station lets you charge all of your mobile devices in one convenient place, and automatically shuts off power—including standby power—after devices are fully charged. It even senses when new devices are added so you always get a full charge, and has an innovative cord management system to keep things neat. Keep your devices ready to go, and save energy, too.  This device is priced at $99.98 through Amazon.





The Ecobutton is an ideal gadget if you want your PC to use less power. You simply press the Ecobutton when you’re away from the PC, and the device places the computer into its most efficient energy-saving mode. Furthermore, it will record how much power, money, and carbon units you’ve saved using it. The data it provides is beneficial in enabling users to monitor, and therefore reduce, the power use of various computers.  The cost is only $8.00 UDS and is definitely well worth the price.




Always forgetting to turn off your lights? The Maestro Occupancy/Vacancy Sensor senses when you enter or exit a room and switches the lights on or off accordingly.   This device automatically turn lights on when you enter a space and off when you leave, creating a convenient way to save energy at home or commercial space. They’re ideal for rooms where lights are accidentally left on, such as an office, or rooms that you often enter with your hands full, such as a laundry room or supply closet.

A sensor detects the amount of natural light in each room and adjusts the lighting to reach your preferred level. This device effortlessly provides you with efficient lighting throughout your home, illuminating with energy-saving ambience.

Consult your local hardware store for pricing.




Highly recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, the easy-to-use Eco Kettle can reduce your tea-related energy expenditures by 30%. It lets you select exactly how much water to boil. It also contains a handy reservoir, so you don’t have to top up your kettle every time you make a fresh pot of tea. With prices starting at just £20 ($33), an Eco Kettle can drastically reduce your water use. A top-of-the-line model is about $63.00 US.  The built-in measuring capacity of the Eco-kettle adds convenience and precision. We should hope that the design also provides for an automatic shut off when the water reaches boiling point, and insulation to keep water hot until that phone call is finished. Bundling features is an advantage if it leads to a personal enjoyment that encourages conservation…to a point that is price determined.

As we all know, there are probably many other energy-saving ideas and processes.  The ones I have mentioned above are moderately priced and used in the home.  Hope you enjoy the write-up.


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