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Here are some findings that don't really fit in most other categories but could probably contribute as the house's gadgets:

Smart Strip Power Surge:
-Eliminate standby power.
-When the main appliance (like TV or computer) is turned off/standby mode, the surge detecs minimal power usage form it. This triggers it to turn everything on the strip off, which includes all other peripherals (DVR, sound systems etc.).
-Weakness: If the appliances need power to mainain certain data or updates from the service provider, the surge may results in lost of data.

Sensor for optimal use of appliances
-apply to dishwasher, washing machine and dryer
-Eliminate power waste of running the machines many times but not at optimal load.
-Only runs when sensor 'feels' like there's enough load. Basically we want to run it at maximum capable load as possible.
-Sensors might work in terms of weight or height of the load
-Weakness: may annoys user which in the end might add random stuff just to make it run.

Energy Agent Window and Door Sensor
-miniature wireless sensors mounted on doors or windows, to sense when they are open or closed. The sensors send a signal to the Energy Agent â„¢ receiver and it controls the connection between the wall thermostat and the cooling unit and turn them off.
-In short the system shuts off HVAC if the window/door is openned to avoid wasting energy.
-Weakness: Real target is actually hotel or resort homes to avoid owners form high utility bills due to customers leaving the window open while running the HVAC.

Energy Detectives
-home energy monitor that allows you to see electricity usage in real-time. Monitors everything that uses electricity.
-Whenever something is turned on, the monitor shows the total energy currently used including the one just being added.
-This makes the user more conscious of the amount of energy being used at a time. Might help them avoid wasting energy because of the scary value shown on the monitor.

Conclusion: We see these as an alternative to a complete control system of the house that may cost a fortune. Probably by having smaller control units for each set of appliances might do the same job at a lower cost but still pays long term.

Comments

Here's the details on the for the items in general gadgets:

1) The Energy Detective - $150
2) Energy Saving Smart Strip - $40

3) The information on sensors for appliances like dishwasher, washing machine can be found from this website :
http://www.tekscan.com/index.html
One of the products from this company is FlexiForce® Load/Force Sensors and Systems
which can potentially be hooked up to the appliances to control their usage.

4) Lighting control system for entertainment center to automatically dim the lights when television is on.
http://www.lutron.com/hlc/

5) Doors and windows energy agent system
http://kelpinc.com/index.php
Energy Agent â„¢ e-pricing (Single quantity) - $450 for one system
additional Extra door sensor will cost $89 each

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