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Green Tech You Can Use

The man who brought us the iPod has just unveiled his latest creation: the Nest, a self-programming thermostat which adapts itself to your habits. In addition to looking nice, the self-programming feature allows people to save significantly on utilities by adapting to daily patterns and turning down energy usage while the house is empty.

This is how the world improves.  Innovations make it easier and cheaper for people to do what they want.  By cutting down on energy usage during times when no one is home, the Nest significantly reduces the energy footprint of households, which in turn cuts down on home energy costs.

Amazingly, projects like this can tap financial markets successfully without federal guarantees or loan subsidies; because the ideas behind them look sound, private investors back these technologies at no cost to taxpayers.

The world needs fewer Malthusian green hactivists, and more smart innovators who think green.  Let’s hope the next generation of environmentalists is a generation of tinkerers, innovators and builders rather than a generation of leaflet distributors, envelope stuffers and foundation-fund scroungers.

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  • Toni

    There’s an intersection here with Texas deregulation. As Prof. Mead previously wrote, Texans now choose which electric power company provides their juice, separate from the company which gets it to their homes. Texas also allows the power cos. to offer lower rates during non-peak hours. Under these plans, if you want to buy a timer and set your dishes and clothes to wash at 2 a.m., you can do so cheaper than if you did your washing at 6 p.m.

    Maybe the Nest’s creators will add a model that signals your dishwasher and washing machine to start at 2 a.m. This is how private innovation and properly designed (de)regulation can feed on each other.

  • Bill

    Prediction: these will be out-lawed because the current government and its regulatory agencies do not like it when taxpayers have the right to choose for themselves. Instead, I predict the EPA mandate that all US homes must have a new thermostat, pre-set by the Thermostat regulating Czar at temperatures the central government deems appropriate.

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