GE's Killer Idea: A Real-Time Energy Dashboard For Your House

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We asked GE for its smartest new innovation. This is what they gave us ...

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GE

The problem: The price of lighting and heating a home and running all of its appliances keeps rising. The typical energy bill for an American household is $1,400 per year. What's a smart, way to help households save money -- not the mention the environment?

Where great ideas really come from. A special report

The idea: GE's Nucleus energy manager is an odometer for your house's energy use. The size of a phone charger, it's a data storage device that measures electricity use and offers a minute-to-minute estimation of utility costs that families can track on their personal computers (see picture below).

The potential: Today, consumers don't know what they're spending on energy until they see the monthly utility bill. The Nucleus energy manager would give them a real-time dashboard. Dave McCalpin, general manager, home energy management, GE Appliances & Lighting put it this way: "GE's Nucleus energy manager was developed to provide near real-time information for more control over household energy costs and consumption. It serves as the command center for energy and cost conscious homeowners to make smarter, more informed decisions."

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Want to share your company's best idea -- or your own! -- for our Best Ideas series? Leave your idea in the comment section or email me a description and a photograph at dthompson@theatlantic.com.

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The Best Ideas Series

GE: A Real-Time Energy Dashboard For Your House

Google: A Personal Translator on Your Phone

Under Armour: The World's Smartest Shirt

Genentech: Chemotherapy Without Side-Effects

Facebook: A Social Solution to Password Security

PARC: A Better, Faster, Stronger Internet

Andreessen Horowitz: A Camera That Focuses After You Click

Duke University: A Cancer Flashlight

Siemens: The World's 1st Hybrid Electric Airplane

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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