A new energy-monitoring system promises to make tracking individual appliance electricity use straightforward, as well as allowing users to not only view data from their smartphone but remotely shut down greedy devices. The Energy Literacy Platform, a Tokyo-based startup, use compact ELP Modules which plug inline between appliances and AC sockets; they link wirelessly to an ELP Receiver that uploads stats to the ELP server.
Video demo after the cut
That server allows usage monitoring either from a regular browser or from a smartphone. Since the control is bi-directional, as well as tracking which appliance is sucking down power - such as a lamp or TV that has been left turned on - you can shut it off remotely.
However, it's also possible to program the individual ELP Modules with a preset level of power above which they're not allowed to supply. LED indicators on each transition from green through to red as that limit is approached, after which time the socket shuts off altogether. ELP expects to have the system on the market in the summer of 2011.