December 9, 2008 Black & Decker might be looking at a name change to Green & Decker with the announcement of three new Energy Saver Series products. The line consists of a Power Monitor to keep an eye on power consumption, a thermal leak detector to hunt down any leaks or drafts in the home, and an automated light switch that automatically turns lights on or off when you enter or leave a room. All devices that can help cut energy use – and energy bills as well.
Black & Decker’s Power Monitor is a two-part device that (like the Energy Detective we covered last month) tells the user in real time the amount of electricity being used. A wireless transmitter is attached to the electric meter and sends data from the meter to a wireless hand held device to display energy consumption information. This allows the user to track minute-by-minute changes in energy consumption as major appliances are turned on and off. Electricity use can be displayed in kW or dollars with month-to-date bills and predicted monthly bills calculated to help households stick to their energy budgets. Black & Decker say the weatherproof device requires no wiring and works with almost all electricity meters.
The second device in the Energy Saver Series helps reduce energy costs by finding thermal leaks in the home. Simply move the Thermal Leak Detector around the home and when it hits a hot or cold spot, an LED indicator light changes to blue or red depending on the type of temperature change registered. In this way drafty areas around windows and doors and hidden leaks and insulation ‘soft spots’ around electrical outlets, recessed lights, and along floor molding can be identified and dealt with.
Finally the Black & Decker Lights Out AutoSwitch uses a motion activated sensor to automatically turn lights on or off. Running off 3 AA batteries the unit doesn’t need any electrical wiring connections and mounts on the top of any household toggle light switch. The adjustable timer can be set to switch the lights off 1, 5, 15 or 30 minutes after the room is empty to help cut the energy bills of those forgetful people who are constantly leaving the lights on.
It has been shown that most people are eager to do their bit to help the environment, and tools such as these only help to make it easier for people to tackle their energy consumption and not only assist the planet, but make some monetary savings as well.
The Power Monitor is available now for USD$99.99, while the Thermal Leak Detector and Lights Out AutoSwitch will be available from early 2009.