Real-time power consumption information will help solve energy crisis10/29/2008 15:21
If we can provide an inexpensive method for the average consumer to monitor home power usage, I expect a reduction in consumption. A simple photoelectric receiver monitoring a standard meter can easily provide this. Tie it to a wireless transmitter and you have an inexpensive reporting system for the common household. From there it is simple to input the electric company rate and get a real-time dollar per hour amount. I envision a basic LED display that reports current power usage in watts and dollars, a daily report, and a monthly report. Add the ability to set bounds and you can get a color coded indicator when your house is using more power than you would like. An audible signal is also an option.
By doing this, the natural tendency would be a reduction of power. Home owners will naturally begin to turn off lights and devices. They may even be inclined to purchase low power devices.
The device to monitor a meter using a photoelectric device can be seen in this patent.