Companies and homeowners can now use the Internet to monitor the energy consumption of their appliances. Zerofootprint of Toronto has introduced the TalkingPlug, an apparatus that plugs into a regular electrical duplex receptacle outlet and enables two-way communication with the Internet. The device doesn't require users to rewire circuits or upgrade appliances.
The TalkingPlug sends appliance-specific energy consumption data to a local gateway for data collection and storage. Zerofootprint's interface visually displays the data using graphical meters. The Web-based software can analyze, compare and display trends on energy-consumption data. The software also allows users to remotely or automatically turn off appliances when not needed.