Project Envolve™ is a program sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities with the mission of helping us all save more and use less electricity. I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have been provided with complimentary products and/or payment in exchange for sharing these ideas and my own use of them with you. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Part of the fun of being a Project Envolve Ambassador is getting the scoop on what’s happening in the world of energy efficiency. I’ve shared so many tips with you that I wasn’t really aware of either, things that have helped us save money on our utility bills year round.
Last week I had the unique opportunity to spend the day in NYC at the HiccupNY office, the marketing firm that partners with bloggers and PPL Electric Utilities on our program. Not only is a day in NYC always fun (you never know what you’re going to see!) but we had a great time chatting with members of the PPL team to learn about the future of energy efficiency. I’m sharing what I learned, plus some really cool new gadgets that make saving energy fun and easy.
The HiccupNY office is seriously awesome. Very modern, a great group of creative minds, and just a fun place to be. You can look out the window and see the Empire State Building! Very cool. These neat new gadgets we got to play with are very cool, too, and they’re all used to help you save energy. Saving energy = saving money and I think we can all agree that sounds like a smart plan.
Here are my 3 favorites:
This might have been my favorite of the group. This is the little white device you see plugged into the power strip. Then you plug your lamp (or whatever you want it to control) into that outlet. Using the WeMo Insight Switch App, you can control that outlet from anywhere right from your phone. So if the kids are constantly leaving the lights on in their rooms, you can shut them off from your phone while you’re sitting on the couch. Brilliant!
You can also program it so, for example, if the kids don’t understand what lights out at 8pm means, you can help them along by shutting the lights off at 8pm automatically.
This is a really fun one and I was given one to bring home to my kids. It’s an alarm clock that runs on water. No batteries, no cord, just water! Fill it up from the bottom and you’re good for about 6 months until it needs a refill.
It really does keep time and how cool is this? What a fun way to save energy!
This is probably the most ingenious of the items I got to play with at the showcase. In the silver part of the BioLite Wood Burning Campstove, you start a fire. Place your pot on top of it and you have a little stove. Perfect for camping! But that’s not the best part…
By burning wood, the Campstove somehow converts that energy and allows you to plug your phone in on the orange part of the unit and charge it! So not only can you cook energy free, but you can charge your phone energy free. Amazing! I love this for camping or even as a back up if you lose power for an extended period of time (burn it outside of course).
The Future of Energy Efficiency
Can you really believe these devices and how easy they make it to save energy? It’s amazing how far technology has come to allow us to go greener, and save money in simple ways. It’s hard to imagine what it will look like in another 10 years. I got a peek at what the future holds, though, and it’s pretty interesting.
We’ll see a movement away from these one-thing-at-a-time approaches and a movement toward looking at the whole house. Technology is going to make this fun, easier, and engaging.
So for example, your garage door opener might talk to your thermostat and when you come home from work, it will bring the house up to temperature. Your lights will know when someone hasn’t been in the room for a period of time and go off. Your hot water heater will recognize when you’re on vacation and shut off. Much of this will be automated and you won’t have to think about it.
Another cool thing about that is that as our kids grow up with this technology, saving energy is going to be second nature to them. I am excited to see how things develop!
By providing energy efficient programs to their customers, PPL Electric Utilities has saved more than 2 billion Kilowatt Hours per year. What does that look like? It looks like taking 295,000 cars off the road. WOW. These changes really make a difference and part of that difference you can see in a lower monthly utility bill. Yes, please.
What kinds of things do you think we’ll see as technology makes saving energy (and money!) easier?