6 Green Gadgets Your Home Needs

Help your wallet—and the world—with these six ideas

By Janice Lieberman from Reader's Digest | April 2010

First find out how much energy you use. By identifying the power hogs, you can lower your electric bill by as much as 20 percent, experts say. To measure the cost of your energy usage throughout the house in real time, try the wireless TED 5000C ($239.95; theenergydetective.com). Yes, it’s pricey, but with electric bills averaging $103 a month, TED could pay for itself in as little as a year. Joe Hutsko, author of Green Gadgets for Dummies, tested it and found that turning on two outdoor lights cost about 2 cents per hour; his tankless instant water heater runs him $2 per hour. Connect TED to your circuit breaker yourself, or call an electrician. To track weekly trends, pair the unit with Google’s free PowerMeter energy tracker.