This year I've made a resolution to be more conscious about the energy I use and how wasteful I am. Sure, I might just be on an anti-eWaste Earth Day high, but I really would like to do my part and lower my electricity bill. Enter DIY KYOTO's small wonder Wattson, a sleek and chic tracking device that enables you to learn about your own personal energy use through interactive play. The Wattson, which looks a bit like the wii console, shows the power being used across the home, and reacts instantly to any changes with colors and watt readings.
The Wattson gives you the information and understanding you need to take action to reduce your energy consumption and costs, says the creator. The system measures total electricity entering the house and displays this value on an easy to understand display. As we all know, a house's electrical system is made up of several circuits, such as ring mains, lighting circuits and cooker circuit, all of which are connected together at the fusebox, which is where Wattson measures the total electrical power entering the home.
For how it will help you and a gallery of Wattson images, read more
You can view power use at any moment in Watts or in Pounds Per Year - how much it would cost if everything was left as it is for a year (if you didn't guess it's a British device). This allows you to learn how much money appliances cost to run, even when on standby. While the device is still on the pricey side for the regular user, you can purchase a Wattson for about $701 USD (£350). The good news is, by showing you your actual energy usage, the device will force you to make changes and save money. "You may find your microwave costs you £50 ($100 USD) a year just to tell the time and wait for you to ask it to do something," says the website. "Switching on a kettle will make the yearly figure jump by around £3000 ($6,009 USD). Nobody leaves a kettle on for a year, but it gives a good reason to boil as much water as needed rather than a full kettle that takes six times as long (and costs six times as much)."
- Not ready to cough up the dough for a Wattson? Check out a less ritzy device like the Watt's Up Pro, $129.99. It's less user-friendly - you have to plug it into each device to measure wattage being used - but it's certainly a start.