This fall, a Utah company called Control4 will sell a controller that monitors the energy usage of all appliances in your home, for $495 – $200 cheaper than it is now. (Gadgets and software for programming usage patterns cost extra.) The controller can compare usage over the past few months, and with people in the neighborhood.
Depending on house size and tolerance for wool sweaters and a sweaty brow, at about $500 it would probably take a year or two to recoup an investment in the technology.
According to the Electric Power Research Institute, the average American home has 27 appliances that are always on.