For those with older, inefficient appliances, a Colorado Company claims to have one solution in the form of a small device The Power-Save 1200 that, when attached to a home's electric meter, is supposed to reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent.
The Power-Save 1200 is manufactured by the Power-Save Energy Co. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It is marketed by the California-based company as well as many others across the United States, including FreeEasyGreen.com, an Internet business based in Boulder, Colo.
Dan Page, president of FreeEasyGreen.
com, said the product, a larger version of which has been used by industrial plants for more than three decades to cut power costs, is ideal for people who have major appliances with inductive motors such as refrigerators, air conditioners or stoves that are more than three years old.
"They are old, not Energy Star rated and they don't work as efficiently as they should," Page said about the appliances, which typically are working at 80 percent or less efficiency instead of at 100 percent.
Therefore, Page said, such appliances are only using 80 percent or less of all energy coming into the home, with the other 20 percent or more becoming wasted energy.
Page said the Power-Save takes the unsued energy, stores it and uses it to provide power to the appliance when needed, instead of it taking new power, which is how it reduces energy consumption.
He said he has one in his home that cut his energy consumption by 18 percent, which translates into a savings of $30 a month on the electric bill.
The Power-Save retails for approximately $300, Page said, plus shipping and handling. Only one device is needed, and it is attached to the home's electric meter.
Matt Chagnon, spokesman for Public Service of New Hampshire, one of the major electric power suppliers in the state, said they have not researched nor do they promote the Power-Save 1200.
"It's not something we've heard of, so it's not something we promote," Chagnon said, adding that anyone interested in that particular product or a similar product should do plenty of research before making a purchase.
Gil Gelineau, manager of marketing support at Public Service of New Hampshire, agreed, noting that the company has looked at similar devices but found them wanting.
He added that he has not read any research on nor seen the Power-Save 1200, so that particular device may work as its manufacturer and marketers claim, however he said that similar items PSNH has looked at have not lived up to their energy-saving claims.
"We have tested other products that have similar and, under close scrutiny, they have not held up," Gelineau said.
He did note that part of the claim about the Power-Save 1200 on the FreeEasyGreen.com website, while it may be true, does not matter to the average residential customer.
The part of the claim Gelineau was referring to was that it is supposed to improve the power factor. He said even if the product does improve the power factor, that is not something that is measured by utility companies at the residential level and customers with a worse power factor do not pay any more on their monthly electric bill than people with a better power factor.
Gelineau said while some consumers may try similar devices as the Power-Save, the quickest way to reduce monthly energy costs is to have energy-efficient appliances and make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
"The simplest approach in terms of reducing energy costs is to replace incandescent light bulbs in high-use areas with compact fluorescent light bulbs. That change alone will save a family a substantial amount," Gelineau said, adding that compact fluorescent light bulbs only require one-fourth to one-third of the energy required to power an incandescent bulb.
Malik Jeff Haig, owner of Sustain Ability, a downtown Laconia store that sells environmentally friendly, energy efficient and locally made green products, said he has not heard of the Power-Save 1200 and does not carry similar products.
Page said the Power-Save 1200 does have a two-month money back guarantee, so that people will be receive at least one electric bill after installing the product.
"We want people to see how much they have saved and convince themselves," Page said.