energy efficiency

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How the iPad Could Disrupt the Home Energy Market

Posted by on 06 Apr 2010 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, greenr business, liveable cities


My iPad arrived on Saturday and it is one cool device! While there are question marks over Apple’s closed ecosystem, there’s no doubt about consumer interest. Like the Apple II, the Mac, iPod and iPhone before it, the launch of the iPad will be the tipping point for widespread adoption of nascent technology – in this case a large screen, touch control device in the home. As the following points out the outcome may impact home energy efficiency.

…the iPad could offer a few unique characteristics specifically for home energy management in comparison to an energy-specific dashboard gadget — like those made by Tendril, EnergyHub and Control4 (yep they make a gadget too) — mobile interfaces with smaller screens like the iPhone, or a website on a computer. Those advantages include a large screen, the ability for rich media and the fact that the device can do an unlimited amount of other tasks.

Continued at

More Use – Less Stuff

Posted by on 18 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: enablers, energy efficiency, guides


I just spent the last three days at the annual Bioneers Conference. The closing speaker was Ann Leonard – creator of The Story of Stuff. Her talk inspired me to put together a few thoughts and a ‘presentation’.

The fastest path to sustainability, to meeting the goals of Kyoto,, etc is to make exponentially more use out of the world’s limited resources. Buying more personal stuff – however ‘green’ – isn’t going to get us there. Instead we need to tap technology (and common sense) to radically increase the use of the products and resources we have today. Here are a few examples…

10 Monitoring Tools Bringing Smart Energy Home

Posted by on 13 May 2009 | Tagged as: energy efficiency


A cornerstone of the house renovation is our energy strategy and key to that will be monitoring whats usage. So I read this with interest:

A half-dozen companies are launching their first energy dashboards this year, and a few others are starting to gain traction with already available online tools. One of the biggest differences between these firms is whether companies will sell directly to the consumer or to utility partners for upcoming smart meter rollouts. Continued at…

If you’re interested in this topic and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ll be attending an event on topic in Palo Alto Thursday night.


Moth Eyes Inspire More Efficient Solar Cell

Posted by on 17 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry, energy efficiency

Moth eye tapered nanostructure

How would nature minimize reflection? Ask a moth:

Researchers in the Netherlands have developed an anti-reflective coating based on the nanostructure of a moth’s eyes, which could reduce the reflection from photovoltaic cells and thereby make them more efficient… and … a new eco-friendly production technique that can apply the coating with high precision. Continued at Physicsworld…

Google Gets Behind Smart Meters & Monitoring

Posted by on 10 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, green building

Smart meters and energy monitors have been around for years, but Google wants to bring this empowering technology to a much larger audience. Count me in!

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” and we believe consumers have a right to detailed information about their home electricity use. We’re tackling the challenge on several fronts, from policy advocacy to developing consumer tools, and even investing in smart grid companies.

Continued at The Official Google Blog…

Posted by on 10 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: climate change, energy efficiency


In a rousing opening address at this year’s Bioneers conference, event co-founder Kenny Ausubel outlined his vision:

“…to re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.” He went on to highlight biomimicry as “arguably the single most important design strategy to shoot the rapids of the next ten years.”

You can read Kenny’s complete address at The Huffington Post.

Solar Botanic’s Nanoleaf

Posted by on 13 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, energy efficiency

While most people have yet to hear the term ‘biomimicry’, some are already seeking to take things to the next level by combining multiple biomimetic solutions:

Solar Botanic has designed artificial trees and plants which are so lifelike that to most casual observers they are living trees and plants. In fact, each tree or plant is a powerhouse of renewable energy harvesting the eternal profligate power of the sun, wind and rain. The essential element in this technology is Solar Botanic’s artificial leaf (Nanoleaf) which captures the sun’s radiant energy in photo voltaic and thermo voltaic cells converting the radiation into electricity. Simultaneously as the wind blows the layers of voltaic material in the stems, twigs and branches are moved, compressed and stretched, creating electricity. Press release continues…

Tendril + Zigbee = Smart Grid @ Home

Posted by on 31 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency

Cnet’s Green Tech blog offers a write-up on Tendril:

“Most in-home displays take information from the outside meter, but because ours are networked devices and because we’re talking to the utilities’ back office, we know what the price plan is and we can present it in dollars and cents.” Continued at Green Tech…

Smart indeed!

Photo Credits: Tendril Networks Inc.

Smart Sprinkler Systems

Posted by on 09 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, water

Cyber-Rain Logo

Here’s another ‘smart’ product company: VentureBeat reports that Cyber-Rain, maker of wireless sprinkler control systems, an has raised $1.5 million in first round funding.

Cyber-Rain claims its technology can save customers 30 to 70 percent on their watering bills. While smart networks are nothing new in the utility sector, Cyber-Rain is one of the few startups we’ve seen that offers wireless control systems for water management. Continued at VentureBeat…

Green Homes Concierge

Posted by on 30 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency

Green Homes Concierge

Great idea if done right:

For GBP 199, Green Homes Concierge inspectors will come to a customer’s home, toting heat-detecting cameras and other devices to help them evaluate its leaks, wall insulation and appliances. Afterwards, the inspectors will recommend ways the home’s owner can reduce CO2 emissions, and hopefully save some money in the process. Significantly, GHC’s services don’t end there. For a full year the firm will act as a helpful concierge. Should customers wish to make the inspection’s recommended improvements, GHC will help them locate contractors and suppliers able to do the work or tell them where to buy low-energy light bulbs and other environmentally friendly items…Continued at Springwise.

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