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Energy Consumption Gets Social with Tweet-a-Watt

Energy consumption habits are a private thing—sometimes you just don't want everyone knowing that you have a cell phone charger, computer, external hard drive, and iPod charger all draining energy at the same time you're also playing Xbox on your big-screen TV. But for those of you who are energy voyeurs, there's the Tweet-a-Watt.

We first wrote about Tweet-a-Watt earlier this month, when it was one of five finalists in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition. This hack for the Kill-a-Watt energy-efficiency monitor eventually won the competition, besting products like the the Power Hog, the Indoor Drying Rack, and the Laundry Pod.

The concept behind the Tweet-a-Watt is simple: the device connects to a Kill-a-Watt monitor and proceeds to broadcast exactly how much energy you're using to all of your Twitter friends with messages like "Currently using 71.0 Watts, 4766 Wh in last 24hr, 5503 Wh previous day." 

And now, after nearly a month after winning the Greener Gadgets Design crown, the Tweet-a-Watt is finally on sale. It's not cheap: Ninety dollars for a starter pack that comes with a receiver, transmitter, two adapter kits, USB cable, and a bag of parts including a 10,000uF capacitor, 220uF capacitor, 2 1% 4.7K resistors, 5mm green LED, and 1/16" heatshrink. That doesn't account for the cost of the Kill-a-Watt, of course, which adds another $20. But theoretically, it should pay for itself with the energy savings you'll accrue from better consumption habits.

As you might imagine from the complicated-sounding bag of parts, putting together the Tweet-a-Watt is no easy task. Tweet-a-Watt's Website warns, "The kit is unassembled and requires some light soldering to piece together. It is a moderate/advanced project and is intended for people with electronics & computer experience and are comfortable working around High Voltages." In other words, I hope you have a friend who's an electrician. 

If you're still intent on bragging to your friends about what an energy-saving machine you are, the Tweet-a-Watt is available here.

[Via Mother Nature News]