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That Flat Screen TV May Cost More Than You Think

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 4:23am

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Running your electronics can get pricey. You already know about Vampire energy and how simply having your TV or DVR plugged in can cost you money. But do you have any idea how much it actually costs to run those devices?

A new gadget being shown at the International CES – MeterPlug — will not only tell you how much your new flat screen TV costs to run, it will send the data to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

It’s a small plug that sits between the device’s plug and the outlet or power strip. Once paired with your phone, it will tell you your current wattage and costs.

MeterPlug does this by finding the electric rates in your area based on the GPS in your phone. The accompanying free app, which runs on both iOS and Android, lets you turn a device on or off from your phone — welcome news for true couch potatoes.

Why do you need to know all this? When you can see which devices are running up your electric bill, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to leave them plugged in. A gaming system, for instance, that’s only used by the kids on the weekend, might be unplugged or turned off on the power strip in order to save on electricity. Or you may learn it’s cheaper to run your dishwasher or laundry in the evening as opposed to during the day.

The MeterPlug also helps you save energy. It acts as a proximity sensor so if you leave the room for a period of time, it will turn the device off. Come back in and the device turns on.

You can plug only one device into each MeterPlug but they’re not terribly expensive. They cost around $60 each which you’ll hopefully make up in savings. They can be pre-ordered on Indiegogo now and are expected to ship in April.

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January 09, 2013

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