For all their promise to save money and energy use, household energy management systems apparently can’t catch on. Do consumers just not want to know how much power their electronics guzzle on a daily basis?
The Trend: Internet-connected energy monitors. They grab details on electric use from your wiring and send them to a Web site where you can analyze the data—and figure out how to save both watts and cash.
Why Now: Utilities keep promising “smart” electric meters that automatically provide real-time, online info, but most Americans still don’t have them. Now millions of stimulus dollars are inspiring companies to create and sell kits that add smart features to any ordinary meter.