A major source of wasted energy is household electronics left plugged in that seep away energy while in stand-by mode. This has been dubbed Vampire Energy and many designers have tried (and failed) to come up with a practical solution to this cloaked menace. Most homeowners, even well-meaning ones, do not have the tools to correctly identify their most power hungry devices.

The New York Times recently had an article about this issue that presents a prototype home automation network that would enable homeowners to closely monitor their energy consumption. Home automation networks have been available for years, but were prohibitively expensive. As energy costs rise, the technology has become increasingly cheap and available, opening a new demand for this type of innovative metering. The systems can schedule temperature adjustments while you're out of the house or show you specific energy costs. Large power companies are also taking note of the potential energy saving devices and looking into developing “smart-grids.” The New York Times reports:

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