A new pocket wizard developed for energy-aware homeowners may also help contractors give quick-and-easy answers to questions about an electric device’s economic and environmental impact in these energy-conscious days.

Small, portable and convertible.
Photo: Tom Sawyer
Small, portable and convertible.

The Conserve Insight, a $30 gadget from Belkin to be released this summer, is an in-line outlet adapter that translates electrical consumption into various measurements, including watts, dollars and pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. The adapter has a digital read-out on a six-foot cable, allowing users flexibility when trying to determine energy usage of devices plugged into hard-to-reach outlets.

The small screen and simple buttons provide programming options. Average computations of carbon emissions per kilowatt and energy costs per watt in the U.S. are pre-installed. However, the Conserve Insight allows reprogramming if the user has exact numbers from an electric utility.

Belkin’s new Conserve line includes the Conserve Smart AV, an Auto-Off Surge Protector that is scheduled for release on July 27. Other energy-aware products are soon to follow, the company says.

The surge protector, which also sells for $30, has a “green” socket meant for a central electronic device, such as a computer. The remaining sockets are used for peripheral equipment, such as printers or plotters. The surge protector detects when the machine drawing electricity from the green socket is no longer in use; then, it will shut off automatically the peripheral equipment when the central device shuts down. Both items may be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.