Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Cost Monitor

Earth Day, April 22nd, is just right around the corner and I know many of us now days are becoming more and more conscious of our conservation efforts and energy usage. I know I for one have tried to switch out most of my older devices, light-bulbs ect for more modern energy efficient ones. Not only does it help me conserve energy, which is great for the environment, but it helps me save some of that hard earned cash.

You might wonder just how much power your devices use, how many watts they pull or perhaps you want to know the overall cost in dollars or carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. Enter the new Belkin Conserve Insight a nifty little plug that adapts directly to any wall socket and immediately displays the cost of operation, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂) produced in generating the electricity consumed and wattage consumption of any device plugged into it.

Energy monitors like the Kill-a-Watt have long been one of the geek worlds favorite gadgets but its a little too geeky for the home user. So Belkin has decided to add a little stylish flair to things while keeping all the functionality and features. You get all most all of the features packed into other monitors without sacrificing looks and its incredibly easy to use and understand.

Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Monitor Features

  • Large easy-to-read LCD display
    For easy readouts. Displays power-plant carbon dioxide emissions produced during electricity generation total overall cost in dollars as well as watts used
  • 3-button control
    • CO2 Button: Environmental Impact (CO2 emitted to generate power to run your device)
    • Dollar Button: Cost Impact (Dollar amount your device uses)
    • Watts Button: Energy Consumption (Watts used by your device)
  • 5-foot tethered cord
    Provides plenty of length between outlet and display unit allowing display unit to be placed on a countertop or desk away from the outlet.
  • Customizable settings
    Lets you use the preloaded U.S. average electricity rate or enter your own rate off your electric bill to track cost. You can also set the carbon dioxide emissions rate for your region.
  • Tracking function
    Tracks device usage over time and projects annual monthly & yearly operation costs.

It couldn't be easier to use and read

With some devices you either have to manually calculate the cost and emissions or find a website that can do it for you. With the Conserve Insight everything is displayed right there in big, very readable, numbers. Plug it in, plug in your device and select from one of the three buttons on the front and you are up and running. How much easier can it get.

Making adjustment for rate amount or consumption was quick and easy. Just hold down the dollar button for longer than 3 seconds, your Conserve Insight will go into “Set Rate Mode.” Once in this mode you can adjust the Energy Unit Cost per kWh to match that of your electricity bill. In the same “Set Rate Mode,” you can press the Watts button to increase your Energy Unit Cost per kWh and the CO2 button to decrease the cost. You push the CO button down for the same 3 seconds to enter the “CO2 Conversion Factor Mode” which allows you to adjust the CO2 conversion factor.

Two downsides I see from the Conserve Insight
  1.  The plug is rather bulky and blocks an additional outlet on my surge suppressor. It didn't affect my outlets but I thought it could be smaller
  2. There isn't a light or back-light so you can't read the monitor in darker settings. Not really an issue since you won't likely be getting up at night just to check it out but it would have been a good option.
For more details checkout the video linked below or checkout the Belkin Conserve Insight on

Save Energy through Discovery

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