The Month in Review: January 2013

Here are some of the top stories in eco news for the month of January, 2013.

Fiscal Cliff Deal in United States Extends Biofuel Incentives

In Green Car News, the United States Senate signed off on a budget agreement that was designed to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and has been the center of debate. For the biofuel industry and green vehicle proponents, the good news is that biofuel initiatives from the 2008 Farm Bill will be extended, which should help to save jobs and reduce dependency on foreign oil.

Transocean Agrees to Pay $1.4 Billion in Fines and Penalties for 2010 Oil Spill Disaster

The United States Department of Justice announced that Transocean had agreed to pay civil and criminal fines and penalties for its part in the 2010 oil spill disaster, Deepwater Horizon, under a federal court settlement.

Warren Buffet Makes Solar Energy Deal

Two California SunPower solar photovoltaic power plant projects have been acquired by Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company for over $2 billion, adding to its solar energy portfolio that includes the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis County, California and a 290-megawatt solar power plant in Yuma, Arizona.

Winners Announced for 2013 Green Car Technology Award

The Mazda SkyACTIV was awarded the winner of the 2013 Green Car Technology Award at the Washington Auto Show on January 31, 2013. Nominees that were recognized in Green Car Journal  as the ‘Top 10 Green Car Technologies for 2013′ included Fiat MultiAir; Fisker EVer Powertrain; Ford Auto Stop-Start, EcoBoost, and Energi technologies; Honda Eco Assist; Mazda SkyACTIV; Nissan Easy-Fill Tire Alert; Tesla Powertrain; and Toyota RAV4 EV Powertrain.

U.S. Green Building Council Lists Top 10 States for LEED

Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) annual list of the top 10 states for new LEED certifications in 2012 includes regions that are transforming buildings and communities across the country. Washington, D.C. takes the number one spot, followed by Virginia, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

Los Angeles Deploys LED Street Lights to Save Millions

The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting published an update on the status of a project aimed at converting street lighting to energy efficient LEDs. The report states that 114,067 units have been replaced, which will result in $5,325,793 electricity savings per year, a savings of 63.3% over the high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Solar PV Install Costs Continue to Drop
  2. New Venue for Solar Decathlon 2013
  3. Top-10 Products from BuildingGreen [2013]

See the original post here: The Month in Review: January 2013

Motion Detecting BugPlug Powers Off Gadgets to Save Electricity

BugPlug Energy Saving Device

Many of our home devices are wasting electricity when they are consuming power in standby mode.  Some of these gadgets don’t even have an on/off switch and you have to unplug it or connect it to a power strip that you can turn off.

It might only be a few watts, but add up all of the phantom power consumed in your home and you might be motivated to find a way to save electricity costs. Some estimates put the power usage of standby devices at ten percent of total consumption. Heat generated from devices can limit their lifespan and require your air conditioning systems to work harder.

The solution? Reduce your carbon footprint and your power bill by turning off standby devices whenever possible.

While there are automatic shutdown sockets available, the BugPlug solves the problem of leaking electricity in a fun and attractive package.

BugPlug Design and features

This innovative little bug will help you save on electricity drains of stand-by devices, turning them off when you’re not in the room. Polish design team Ah&Oh Studio, Magda Kalek and Kamil Jerzykowski, created the Bug Plug for the 2009 Greener Gadget Competition.

The design was influenced by urban vinyl toys and features motion sensors built in to the two antennaes. When you enter the room the BugPlug is monitoring, it powers on the devices that you have connected to it. The BugPlug has a detachable power cord that can be used with a variety of plugs.

When you leave the room, the timer powers off the devices after a period of time that you configure. Adjust the timer in the BugPlug’s belly button for up to thirty minutes after the BugPlug notices there is nobody in the room.

Until the BugPlug goes into production, there are a wide variety of products available that include automatic shutdown features and timers. I found several options on Amazon, including surge protectors and devices with built-in timers, by searching keywords: automatic shutdown, auto shut-off

What are you doing in your home and office to reduce energy consumption from standby devices?

BugPlug how it works

BugPlug design how it works

BugPlug Single Bug