Jill Fehrenbacher

ENERJAR: Make your own energy meter with the DIY Enerjar Kit!

by , 02/25/08

Enerjar, energy monitor, homemade energy meter, energy meter, DIY energy meter, greener gadgets, greener gadgets competition, matt meshulam, zach dwiel, green gadgets, home energy monitoring device, energy monitor

Sometimes the best designs out there are not ‘products’ that can be purchased — but big ideas made accessible to all through the power of Do-It-Yourself design. The award-winning EnerJar takes the important concept of home energy monitoring, and brings it to the masses in a fun, interactive way through a handy, downloadable DIY design that can be put together using a jam jar and other household objects. By turning energy monitoring into an engaging DIY project the Enerjar took first prize in our recent Greener Gadgets Competition. Designed by Matt Meshulam and Zach Dwiel, this little downloadable DIY kit uses common household materials to monitor the energy output of a variety of everyday devices, allowing a user to take personal responsibility over energy use.



Enerjar, energy monitor, homemade energy meter, energy meter, DIY energy meter, greener gadgets, greener gadgets competition, matt meshulam, zach dwiel, green gadgets, home energy monitoring device, energy monitor

Helping to knock vampire power out of the house, the cute little EnerJar measures how much energy your household appliances are sucking up, by providing a conduit between the wall outlet and your device. Just plug the EnerJar into the wall, and your gadget into the EnerJar, and the monitor will display the energy usage of the gadget.

And in true green spirit, the EnerJar isn’t a commercial product, but rather, a set of schematics offered for free online to any enterprising soul wishing to build their own. Materials needed include four integrated circuit chips, 12 resistors, and an LED display, and a power supply salvaged from an unused cell phone charger. And instead of opting for plastic enclosures, the designers encased the hardware in a glass jar, an item that is commonly discarded as trash. We love and applaud the spirit of the Enerjar - as an object, an idea and a model for open-source design for all.

+ EnerJar

+ Greener Gadgets Competition

WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE COMPETITION HERE >>>

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3 Comments

  1. Stalk Energy Vampires B... March 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    [...] For more on the EnerJar and other green gadgets, head to Inhabitat. [...]

  2. Hugo February 26, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Great stuff, low tech, sustainable and consciousness-raising about one’s energy consumption.

    But, I don’t think this is worth the first price in a Greener Gadget design contest. Let me explain; this jar is not a roadmap for the future. All the other pricewinners are designs that (can) create a foundation for the future. Ideas about sourcing alternative energy, or storage alternatives. All very high quality and not just a sustainable product. Greener Gadget winners should be able to change the “gadget world” in my opinion.

    Don’t get me wrong, It’s a nice gadget that deserves all the promotion it gets.

  3. Sarah February 25, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    It might be low-tech, who cares! What a great competition. This is a pretty amazing design by anyone’s standards who cares about the environment because it is sustainable and functional. I work for a design college that is very concerned with sustainability, and I love seeing more of what goes on here at Art Center, more and more in different places all over the world. Great design always brings people together and makes the world work a little more smoothly y’know?Even if it seems like a small thing. Especially in light of the world’s new challenges with recyclable materials and sustainability. If you don’t know about it already, there is a big conference going on in Barcelona in March that Art Center is hosting called The Global Dialogues (http://blog.globaldialogues.eu/). The title of it is Disruptive Thinking and there will be amazing designers and pundits and philosophers there from all over discussing how people must think about design (in addition to business and climate change too) in new and exciting, “disruptive” ways. These energy jars here certainly reflect that type of conceptual thinking. Here’s a link to its Web site: http://www.artcenter.edu/dialogues

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