Home Energy Usage

Published on April 20th, 2010 | by Guest Contributor


Green Power: How Much Energy Are You Using?

We all use power- but how much are we really aware of how much? And how often do we leave lights and appliances on without realizing it? Two new projects aim to raise that awareness through visual cues that not only track energy usage, but alert us when we’ve been using power sources for extended periods. The Power-Aware Cord from Static! is a power strip designed to visualize how much energy is being used, and the Tio from TH Design takes the same concept with the goal of educating children about energy awareness.

Photo Credit: TH Design The Tio aims to increase childrens' awareness of energy consumption.

The Tio aims to increase childrens' awareness of energy consumption.


The earlier you can be aware of energy use the more energy efficiency becomes a part of your world-view. The Tio, designed and created by Tim Holley, gives kids an early start in learning about energy usage. When you turn on a light the Tio glows green (happy)- leave the lights on “too long” and that glow turns red (not happy). Beyond the visual cues, the Tio also sends energy usage information to a computer program that lets parents show their kids how much energy is being used- and educational tool for all.

Power Aware Cord

For those of us who probably grew up without much regard as to how much energy we were using, the Power Aware Cord from Static! is a subtle but constant reminder of what it takes to make the house hum. Power strips have become ubiquitous in American households, and even though you may hide the strip in the corner, the strip itself will show how much energy usage is happening.

Image Credit: Static! The Power Aware Cord from Static!

The Power Aware Cord from Static!

Current energy usage is represented through glowing pulses, flow and intensity of light in the cord itself. The idea is to increase awareness of power-usage in real-time and get people to think about the power they are using while they are using it. Team this visual reminder up with a home energy monitoring system and see how much awareness translates into efficiency.

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