Watt Does It use

The go-to blog to save energy, save money, help the earth.

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Kick Off Your Preparation for Earth Day!

Earth day is just over the hill folks. But it doesn’t HAVE  to start there for you. This could be one of many opportunities presented to you to get started and making the planet a little easier to manage, and maybe even get a little healthier at the same time! So in the spirit of Earth Day month, we wanted to highlight a few products that can maybe get you started! So without further delay….

The COLDEST Water Bottle

This interesting little bottle promises to keep your beverage cold for up to 36 hours or more. It’s also vacuum sealed and is built with stainless steel. This way, you can not only have stylish little
bottle to carry around, but also hopefully be encouraged to drink more water and have the benefit of simultaneously cutting down on the use of plastic in the production of water bottles!

Rain Wizard Rain Barrel

This classic, whiskey style of this barrel is a cool looking addition to sport in your rain collection
system. It has a capacity of 50 gallons, is made of Polyethylene and has a flat back to also minimize space! This particular barrel is rotationally molded to hold up against cracking and splitting, so be sure to pick this one up or one similar to it if you’re serious about reusing all that water.

LED/CFL Light Bulb

This may seem like a bit of a no brainer. But sometimes we may fall out of the habit of staying
green just like we fall out of exercising. People also sometimes underestimate just how much energy can be saved just by replacing all of the light bulbs at home to energy efficient ones. Online, these come in just about however number of bulbs in a pack that you can think of. Just order enough to supply your entire house and set a reminder when to stock back up!

WindyNation Solar Panel Kit

Out with the old, in with the new. Solar panel are on the rise and are only going to get bigger in
the near future. This is one of the best ways to efficiently power what you need and the systems can be as big as you want them. However, everyone has to start somewhere. The WindyNation 200 watt solar panel kit comes with everything you need to get your start in the solar community. This specific kit is designed for RVs, cabins, boats and so forth but can ultimately just be your starting line to even bigger projects in the future.

What are some of your favorite energy conserving products that you use day to day? Make sure to jump down to the comments and let us know!

5 Unique Products That Save You Time and Energy

Once there was a time where our civilization as a whole was as energy efficient as possible. Long before the outstanding advancements in society that allowed us to live comfortably and sometimes conscious-less. But the privileges in which we all enjoy in the modern day, occasionally come at a cost.

That cost? Overwhelming energy consumption. But today, we have the responsibility of managing it and putting in the effort to find ways to be as efficient as possible. There is no time in history where it has been harder than now to do that, so here are a few ideas that could be just a start at minimizing our footprint.

1. GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Smart Switch

Forgot to turn the lights off before leaving the house? The GE Z-Wave is a smart switch that gives you the wireless control to turn lights on and off, schedule a timed event or create a custom scene from anywhere in the world. This is the perfect solution to completely eliminate the consequences of a high bill just because you forgot to turn a light switch off. Of course, you’re going to need a brain (or a hub) to communicate to this switch and there are a couple of options, but just to get you started….

2. Samsung SmartThings Hub

This is a perfect hub to compliment the GE Z-Wave Smart Switch. Not only can this connect to the switch, but can also connect with a wide range of compatible devices, including lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more. You can actually use this to teach your home tricks like what to do when you’re asleep, awake, and all other sorts of great things. This essentially allows you to create an automated and sensor triggered environment that, in the long run, will save you a ton on the use of lights and electronics while at the same time providing you with the convenience of increased safety. A bit of a no brainer, but it does require an internet connection and is also fully compatible with Amazon Alexa.

3. Niagara Conservation Sava Spa Shower Head

Water conserving shower heads are nothing new, but Niagara’s Sava Spa Showerhead has a luxurious feel and is actually pretty high water saving benefits. It has a patented pressure compensator that ensures a consistent flow, regardless of water pressure. It’s built from a durable brass construction, which ideally will provide the longest use, getting the most savings in your home and in your wallet.

4. Save A Watt Phantom Power Indicator

This little tool allows you to check how much power your electronics are using in standby mode. How much energy are your chargers using by just being plugged in? What about your video game console on standby or even your laptop? Built-in LED indicators quickly show how much electricity is being wasted and help you identify the best places to save. Just plug it into any grounded outlet and attach the item you want to test and you’re good to go!

5. The Laundry POD

You might be surprised to hear of the numerous resources that go into washing and drying your clothes. You have water. That water has to be heated so now your water heater has to consume electricity or gas to sufficiently get that job done. And not to mention all that goes into all the detergent you have to use with washing machines. The Laundry POD is a great alternative for all of that! It is a washing device that holds 6 liters of water and only requires about 1.5 teaspoon of laundry detergent. It has a spinning, washing and draining system that is operated by the hand turned crank on top and washes the cycle of clothes in less than ten minutes! There are few other ways to save this efficiently for years to come.

These are only the beginning in what it takes to most efficiently conserve. Maybe you know of some! Let us know what types of products are your favorite for conserving energy in the modern era!

2.21 Reasons to Purchase LED Lights

I recently moved into a new house, and one of the first things I did was buy Energy Star LED lightbulbs to replace the mixture of incandescent and CFL lightbulbs in the house.

Why?

When you buy LED bulbs in bulk, you can usually get them under $2/bulb (Ex: Philips 60 Watt LED).  I found a 60-Watt incandescent online for $0.41, so the upfront cost difference will be $1.60 that needs to be made up in energy savings. 

Based on Energy.gov’s estimates, the incandescent annual energy cost is about $4.80 whereas the LED is about $1. These are conservative estimates, so depending on your electricity costs and usage, your savings may be more.

Let’s compare these costs:

 Incandescent LED
 Upfront Cost $0.41  $2.00
 Annual Operating Cost $4.80  $1.00
 Total (First Year Cost) $5.21  $3.00

The first year, you net a savings of $2.21/LED lightbulb installed. Now to make LEDs even more appealing, they typically last ~10x longer than Incandescent. This means that it is actually going to cost to $4.10 in replacement costs for the Incandescent, so not only are you saving energy, but you are also saving in the cost of the actual bulbs.

Now look at your house and count the number of incandescent lightbulbs and multiply it by $2.21 for a rough estimate to how much you’ll save per year (not factoring in the replacement savings).

Besides the energy and cost savings, you are also reducing the amount of used lightbulbs in the trash as the Incandescents will burn out faster than LED. Overall this is a win-win-win. Jump over to Amazon today and buy some LEDs so that you can partake in this benefit to the environment and your wallet.

Top 10 Energy Efficient PC Laptops

Going green is a great idea for those who like to save money, or those who want to conserve energy. Regardless, this list of the top 10 energy efficient laptops.

1) Lenovo 80SF

  • Power Consumption: average 11.20 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: averages 11.4 lbs of CO2 year
  • Average yearly running costs are $2.12 – $2.69

2) Acer CB3-431

  • Power Consumption: 12.00 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 12.2 lbs of CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.28 a year

3) Asus UX330C

  • Power Consumption: 12.10 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 12.3 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.26 –
  • $3.37

4) Lenovo 80MG

  • Power Consumption: 13.40 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 13.65 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.53 – $2.84

5) Lenovo G50-80

  • Power Consumption: 13.90 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.15 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.66 – $2.88

6) Asus UX390U

  • Power Consumption: 14.10 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.35 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.67 – $2.89

7) Lenovo 80TX

  • Power Consumption: 14.30 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.6 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.82 – $2.91

8) Lenovo 80QN

  • Power Consumption: 14.80 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.1 lbs CO2 per year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.79 – $3.25

9) Asus P2540U

  • Power Consumption: 14.90 kWh/year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.2 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.89 – $3.27

10) HP 13-ab

  • Power Consumption: 15.00 kWh/year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.3 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.85 – $4.60

Is there a laptop that we missed that should be on this list? Add it to our comments below.

Author Background: This post was provided by Carter Razink at PopularReviews.net. PopularReviews.net provides reviews and lists of the best consumer electronics. If you are interested in exploring more review lists, you can check them out here.

9 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2016

April 22 is Earth Day. This day is a reminder to keep the Earth’s best interest always in mind. Below are some ways that you can say thank you to the Earth for everything it provides us:

  • Pick up trash that you see on the ground and put it in a trash can
  • Go to a local park/beach and pick up trash you see there
  • Unplug devices/turn off lights when not being used
  • Turn off all lights at night and appreciate the night sky
  • Recycle any items that can be recycled
  • Learn more about earth day (External link to Apple’s Earth Day page)
  • Go for a nature walk and take time to appreciate all the Earth offers
  • Donate money to Earth Day Organization (External Link to Earthday.org)
  • Plant a tree

There are numerous other ways to show the Earth your appreciation. Share your ideas in the comments below.

5 CES 2016 Companies to Keep Your Eye On

I was able to see and experience a lot of great products while at CES 2016. Here are some of the companies that stood out:

GenZe – I mentioned GenZe in a previous post, but I got a chance to test drive their electric scooter. It was a lot of fun and they definitely developed the scooter to adapt to all types of living conditions. The GenZe recently had a launch event in Oakland which included a welcome speech by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. You can learn more about the cost to charge a GenZe on the WattDoesItUse page. You can buy a GenZe from their website.GenZe Scooter Ride

Tesloop – Tesloop is a city to city chauffeured transportation service using Tesla electric vehicles. Their current routes are between Orange County and Las Vegas, but will soon be expanding to support other southern California cities like San Diego and Palm Springs. This was the first time that I got to ride in a Tesla which was exciting, but it didn’t distract me from the great business model that Tesloop has in place. By using Teslas for their fleet, they get the benefits of free charging which ultimately cuts down on their fuel expense along with laying an infrastructure that in the future can leverage the autonomous driving features that Tesla is continually rolling out. Keep an eye on Tesloop not only for expansion, but also to have Teslas with the most mileage on them. I’m excited to learn more about the long term durability of the Tesla, which would add additional value to buying an electric vehicle. Learn more about the cost to run Electric Cars like the Tesla. You can schedule your next trip on their website.

WakaWaka – WakaWaka, which means Shine Bright in Swahili, sells solar powered LED lights rooted in a mission to provide light to developing countries. A lot of people don’t have easy access to electricity, so they have to use kerosene lamps for light at night. Besides being expensive, kerosene lamps are also dangerous and account for 1.5 million deaths every year1.  When you purchase a WakaWaka light, or Power+ which charges a cell phone in 2 hours, WakaWaka will donate the same device to a developing country to reduce the use of kerosene lamps. The WakaWaka Light and Power+ have been added to the Alternative Energy category on WattDoesItUse.  You can learn more and purchase a WakaWaka on their website.WakaWaka Share the Sun

AMPY MOVE – AMPY MOVE is a battery pack that recharges while you move. It has connectivity with other exercise trackers so that you are encouraged to be active not only for the betterment of your health, but also for your devices. You can purchase an AMPY MOVE on their website.

Ossia Cota – Ossia announced Cota, a wireless charging solution for your electronics. The device sits in your home and can wirelessly charge a device up to 30 feet away. With the announcement of their wireless charging system, they are also announcing AA batteries that you can add to your existing devices so that they can get the benefit of wireless charging. These batteries are different from your typical AA as they have a longer life because of their composition. They don’t need to have a long life between charges since they are always being charged.  The devices are connected to a mobile app where you can see the status of their charging and control how fast they are charged. Hatem Zeine, the CEO of Ossia, talked about the multiple applications where this will be useful with one of the most beneficial for consumers being IoT devices since each sensor requires power and houses are adding 10s if not 100s of these sensors to aid in multiple aspects of life. Once you have the sensors in place, the last thing you want to do is change their batteries which is not only painful but costly financially and to the environment with the battery waste. You can learn more about Ossia Cota and their other products on their website.

CES 2016 was a great event and appreciate all of the time and energy that the Consumer Technology Association put into accommodating press and the vendors. Looking forward to future shows.

Look Up Smart Home Hub Power Consumption

In preparation for CES 2016, I’ve added a new category to WattDoesItUse: Smart Home Hubs. I’ve added a couple of hubs smanos and will be adding more when I attend CES 2016. If you have a company that has a Smart Home Hub, please contact me with the power consumption information so I can add it to my site. 

Looking forward to attending CES 2016 and adding more products to the WattDoesItUse database. 

2 Birds, 1 Stone: helping veterans by charging your electric vehicle

Whenever I am out running errands in my Nissan Leaf, I like to look for electric vehicle charging parking spots, as it allows me to top off my car while shopping. This morning, I came upon an interesting setup at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall.  It was an electric vehicle charging station that had solar panels as the source for energy. I’ve seen the large solar arrays that then feed into EV charging, but never one that was a stand-alone single parking spot. The charger is called the EV Arc, and it is made by Envision Solar.

Envision Solar Electric Vehicle Charging

This setup already had me hooked, but it gets even better. The charging is free in exchange for a donation to The Honor Foundation, which provides executive education, professional development, career coaching, and transition management to US Special Operations Forces. You charge under the honor system, so when I got home, I jumped online and made my donation in exchange for the solar powered infusion in my car.

This was made possible through Envision Solar and Westfield Malls, and I believe this is an excellent benefit across the board:

  • Help the environment by driving electric cars and charging using solar
  • Help Veterans

I’d love to see more innovative promotional programs like this, but in the interim, well done Envision Solar and Westfield Malls.

You can read more about this on the Envision Solar website.

Look Up Power Consumption For Your Network Switches

Now you can find out with our newly added category: Network Switches. We’ve added hundreds of network switches along with their power consumption so that you can calculate how much they cost to run.

Don’t see a network switch that you own or are interested in? Request it!

New Technology Uses Continuous Power Without Batteries or Charging

The second “r” – reuse – is coming into play big time with new devices from Drayson Technologies. The company reuses radio frequency (RF) transmissions from mobile and wireless networks that are already broadcast around us to power their latest device. This means that low-energy IoT devices could be powered without creating new energy, removing the need for batteries and charging. The first use for this technology, which they’re calling Freevolt, is an air sensor that will crowdsource air pollution tracking.

CertainTeed Apollo II

Currently, IoT devices require batteries and/or charging. While this battery technology has advanced recently, it still is limited by size, time, and requires advanced planning. Rather than using batteries, these new devices leverage the already existing energy that comes from wi-fi, mobile (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.) networks, and digital TV signals and turn in into energy to power themselves.

Harvesting this energy comes with its challenges, including how to employ this energy without disturbing current connectivity, and how to create a device that can tap into the small amount of RF energy available. Right now, this technology is applicable only to low power IoT devices.

Here at WattDoesItUse, we’re excited to see technology using more sustainable energy sources. We’ll keep you posted on where this technology heads in the future. Have you tried the new Freevolt devices? Let us know in the comments below.

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