'Modlet' throttles energy use of electronics (Green Gadget of the Week)

Homeowners can set schedules to shut off Modlet-connected appliances or electronics devices automatically.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

New York-based ThinkEco has come out with what it calls the "modlet" (short for "modern outlet"), a gadget that lets homeowners schedule when power to appliances or electronics should be cut.

The device, which is priced at around $50 for the starter kit with software, is part of the new Best Buy Home Energy retail campaign. But it can also be bought from the ThinkEco Web site.

The Modlet comes with access to Web software that needs to be downloaded before you can program the device. The two-socket Modlet is plugged into a standard wall outlet, and then the electronics device or devices you want to control is plugged into the modlet. (The sockets can be controlled independently.) The gadget uses a two-week baseline test to figure out where and when energy waste might be occurring. Then, it can be programmed to shut off the connected appliances or electronics devices at designated times. (The device is controlled wirelessly.)

Additional two-socket modlets are priced at $44.95. (You DO need a computer with an Internet connection in order to set up the device.)

You can skip the baseline phase, which provides scheduling recommendations, if you want to set your own schedules. You can also override schedules if you want to change them on a temporary base (for example, if you are going to be home over a holiday or away for a vacation). The software, which can be used on mymodlet.com, can also be used to create reports about energy consumption or savings.

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