Years ago, a close friend and I were discussing the subject of water harvesting, and he made a statement that I have always remembered since: “When you make someone a water harvester, you make them a water steward.” There is a simple but profound truth about human nature in that statement, I believe—one that applies to the way we respond to many things.
Last month, we visited Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. And although we found a multitude of cool offerings there, none were more interesting to me than all those new products and systems that allow us to interact with our homes in advanced ways, like with hand-held communications devices and laptops, from just about anywhere and at any time.
Now we’re able to not only control the temperature settings for the HVAC, activate lighting to give the impression that someone is at home when they’re not, and to program access for the friendly repairman, but also to adjust the cooking time on a roast that we placed in the oven earlier, or start a load of laundry we left in the clothes dryer to take advantage of lower power rates at off-peak hours.
Some of these are pretty darned remarkable. I’m even hearing about a refrigerator that can tell your smartphone if you have enough eggs and other ingredients on hand to make that soufflé you found a great recipe for at the grocery.
Now, I have to tell you—I don’t drive much these days and as a result, I don’t pay much attention to gas prices. I don’t buy enough gasoline to worry about it too much. But as we were headed to the airport in Las Vegas for our return flight home, I happened to notice a sign at one station that advertised gas for just under $3 a gallon. As I had not seen that price at the pump in some time, I checked closer to home after we got back and I learned that local gas was running over $4.15 a gallon—quite a difference.
What this really got me to thinking about is why we seem to pay so much more attention to our energy demands for our cars than those for our homes. I have a theory. The piece that is missing in the way we monitor our home energy that is always part of our thinking when we drive is one of the simplest features on a vehicle—the gas gauge. Think about it: we look at the sign posting the price of gasoline and the next place our eyes go is to that gauge to check our current fuel level.
Thanks to emerging technology, home energy use is making its way onto our radar, helping us harvest savings—and that just might make stewards of us all.
Posted: 2/27/2013 1:05:10 PM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments