GE’s Nucleus device will let you track, and change, power use in real-time

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From Green Right Now Reports

Ever wonder how much it costs to leave that computer on all night? How much energy is used by your great home theater system – when you’re not watching it? What happens to your electric use when your dryer is drying?

You may be a step closer to having that information at your fingertips with a new product coming from GE in 2011.

Nucleus doesn’t look very impressive – a white box. But GE says it holds the promise of providing real-time information about how much electricity you are using, which you can see on your PC or smart phone.

The Nucleus will be available in 2011, and will cost less than $200

Utilities are beginning to install “smart meters” on homes and businesses across the country, to better track times of peak power use and adjust the cost of power. Power will cost more if you use it when generators are working at peak capacities, and will cost less when electric generators are not overloaded.

The Nucleus will collect and store all the information about how much electricity you use, and track your costs for up to three years, according to GE. You will be able to find all that information as it happens. You can see your power use go up, or down, depending on what is running at the time, GE said in a statement.

The Nucleus is part of a suite of devices and appliances GE is developing. Their Brillion home management system will include a programmable thermostat, an in-home display of power use, a smart-phone application to track power use when you’re away, and “smart” appliances that will interconnect and be controlled by the consumer.

With the Brillion system, you can receive alerts when your air conditioning compressor turns on, or off. Plans for the future include allowing Nucleus to monitor water and gas use, and even the pull of plug-in electric cars, GE said.

Nucleus will be available in early 2011, and will cost from $149 to $199. You can get more information from GE’s Nucleus website, and watch a short video about the device (and about their coming “smart appliances”).

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