New smart plug hopes low price point will spur adoption
Smart plugs are a great way for consumers to add intelligence to "dumb" appliances. Different plugs work in different ways, but in general, the plugs to minimize standby power or other energy waste by monitoring a device that is plugged in and shutting off or reducing power when the device is not in active use. Unfortunately, because the savings are relatively modest in many applications and the initial price of the plugs is relatively high, adoption has been somewhat slow. But a new product called the IntelliPlug seeks to address this gap by offering a $20 smart plug—roughly half the price of competing products. It is very important to note, however, that there is no independent data on savings or performance for this new product and this is not a product endorsement. That said, drastically falling pricing in any efficiency technology product family is always a welcome trend.