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Weekend of October 25, 2019 – Hour 2

© by Apple

Tech News and Commentary

Dave and the team discuss toilet-tech, the time parents spend with their children vs the time they spend with mobile devices, BestBuy’s next day delivery, an Apple Watch saving a couple, and more.

Jim in Raleigh, North Carolina listens on WPTF and asked: “I am seeing a lot of advertisements that you plug in or install in your electrical circuit, that is supposed to cut your utility bill by 20 percent or more. I need to find out if this is for real, or if it’s just another snake oil ad that social media is putting out.”

Jim, it’s both.

If you’re asking will any device save you 20% on your electric bill by virtue of it being plugged into your meter or anything else, then your answer is no, that’s not real.

There are devices that look a little like what you’re describing that can help you save money, though.

You can buy devices that plug into your appliances and will monitor their energy use so you can tweak how you use them, or that will just kill their power completely to save you money in the slow trickle of electricity that they use while on standby. The most famous of these is probably the Kill-a-watt, but there are many of them out there, including some smart plugs from big names in consumer tech.

There are also devices that plug into the meter like you describe and those will give you a measure of your entire home’s electric use. Again, some of these are smart and will let you see your electric use on a computer or phone.

There was a pilot program in Canada in which a neighborhood was given these whole home meters and their electric bills did drop by an average of almost 7%, but that was a result of being more aware of their own usage patterns, the device itself did nothing to lower the bill on its own.

If you’re interested in devices that can lower your bill, your best bet is to invest in new modern appliances that do the same but use less power doing it, but that’s the appliance itself, not a device that plugs into the house.

Another option, if you’re actively looking to save money on your energy bill, is to contact your power company and see if they have an incentive program. Our local power company here, Florida Power and Light (or as we often refer to them – Florida Plunder and Loot) has several programs including what they call “Residential On Call.” What they do is install an energy management device on any appliance, like an air conditioner, pool pump or water heater that you choose to enroll. When there is a greater demand on electricity in your area, they can (they say for short periods of time) remotely turn off your appliance to reduce power consumption. They will, in turn, offer a monthly credit on the bill, even if they don’t have to turn off your device. Of course, that credit amounts to only about 10-12 dollars a month.

intotomorrow_logoWhen you participate on the show – anytime 24/7 – and we HEAR you with any consumer tech question, comment, help for another listener, tech rage or just share your favorite App these days … you could win prizes.

Macally: Dimmable Nightstand LED Light with USB Charger

Killer Concepts: Piggy Pro Phone Stands – Razor thin stand that sticks to the back of any phone

Defense by XDoria: TREK cases for Apple Airpods in various colors

Tablo: Tablo Dual – Whole-home Over-the air DVR for cord cutters

BACtrack: C6 Keychain Breathalyzer – easily estimate your alcohol level

All CALLERS — using the AUDIO option on our Free App or 1-800-899-INTO(4686)  – automatically qualify to win prizes.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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