ThinkEco’s innovative modlet smart plug that can help people save energy and monitor the electricity usage of devices is now available through Best Buy. The retail giant is starting to roll out energy efficiency and energy management devices in some pilot stores and its web site.
The modlet is now available at the new Best Buy Home Energy retail concept debuting at three Best Buy stores located in Houston, Chicago, and San Carlos, Calif. It can also be found at BestBuy.com under Home Safety & Energy Management.
What’s so great about a plug-in module? It’s an easy way to save energy around your house and slowly build an intelligent energy management system. You simply plug in a device you want to monitor and control, go through a quick software setup and schedule automatic shut-offs of the device. Or, the modlet can track your energy usage patterns and make recommendations to help you save energy.
The two-outlet modlet communicates to your computer via wireless ZigBee technology, and several can be placed around the house to form an energy management network. It can also be controlled via a smartphone app.
ThinkEco estimates that cutting power to a cable box alone for 12 hours a day results in annual savings of $17, and cutting power to it 18 hours a day can save $25, based on a rate of 15 cents per kilowatt hour.
The modlet starter kit includes the two-socket modlet, a USB receiver and free access to the web software for $50 at BestBuy.com. Additional modlets can be purchased for $45.
The modlet’s web software is an intelligent engine that recommends ways for users to reduce their energy waste after monitoring their devices over a two-week baseline period. Users can convert these recommendations into actual savings with a simple ‘click’ of the software. If users already know what their savings schedule should be for their modlet, they can skip the recommendation step and start scheduling on their own.
• Auto money-saving—Modlet turns off power to connected appliances on schedule to eliminate wasteful energy use. Users can have as many schedules as they wish.
• Intelligence built-in—Modlet monitors baseline energy use and recommends auto-saving schedules for users to implement via software.
• Simple savings templates—Modlet software comes with schedule templates for common applications, such as “federal holiday plan” that lets users schedule their devices differently on federal holidays.
• Easy override—If the user’s schedule happens to change temporarily, modlet schedules can be overridden with a simple tap of the modlet button.
• Savings tracker—Users can track and compare how much money and energy has been saved over time, as they reduce their energy waste and optimize electronics use.
• Safe and smart outlet—Modlet is a UL-approved 2-socket outlet that handles 2 separate channels for energy monitoring and control, with built-in surge protection.
• Remote controllable—Users can optionally control their devices from anywhere via browser or app.
• Easy expandability—If consumers want to add additional modlets to their secure network, they can do so anytime from the same software interface that was first used during set up.
• Downloadable data—If users want to download their energy use data for further analysis, they can do so by selecting the date range and devices.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates