Growth Plate Light Switch And Outlet Cover Is A Merkin Looking Eco Reminder To Conserve Energy

Growth Plate or Merkin?Inhabitat has a post about Andrew Harmon’s Growth Plates which are designed to encourage you to conserve energy each time you flip a switch or plug a device into an outlet. From

“The lush and green switch forces contact between the living environment and the individual user, encouraging more informed actions.”

Jubbling thinks anything that will help us make better decisions and choose to reduce consumption is a good thing. Hopefully these Growth Plates will do the trick but it’s hard to get past the fact that they look so much like a merkin.


Google’s Android Driven Home Management Software, Android @ Home, Will Turn Off The Lights (Good Start)

Google Android@HomeGoogle, through a partnership with Lighting Sciences Group, has created an LED light bulb that can be turned off remotely and wirelessly using an app on an Android based phone or tablet. The bulb will be available next year and is the first product using Android @ Home power management technology. Android @ Home should really take off when we can manage devices that constantly draw power and don’t have an easy access on/off switch like microwaves, electric ranges, and also AV equipment and computers in standby mode. It is a little ironic that the first product to work with Google’s Android @ Home specs is an LED light bulb that draws the least amount of power but hey, it’s a good starting point.

For more information, read this article on


Bill Gates Doesn’t Think Cute Home Efficiency Products Are The Solution

“If you’re interested in cuteness, the stuff in the home is the place to go.”
Bill Gates on the future of energy
Wired Disruptive By Design Conference

Bill Gates has a solution to meet our future energy needs and it has nothing to do with home efficiency. You know, LED lighting, rooftop solar etc. At Wired’s Disruptive by Design Conference in New York, Bill Gates let the audience know how he feels about home based energy efficiency by describing it as “cute” which in Gatesanese means ineffective and don’t waste your time. Bill’s best answer to meet our future energy needs is through improved technology; especially safer nuclear generated power in which he has invested millions. Basically, Bill Gates wants to see us maintain and supply our growth with more renewable nuclear power.

Other than the gain he’ll receive from the growth of his investment in nuclear power, we’re not sure why he would be so down on home efficiency products. Maybe he has an issue with Microsoft’s partnership with Hohm and their shared Microsoft-Hohm energy monitoring product. Or maybe it’s his 66,000 sq ft of home and heated driveways that motivate him to be against cute home based solutions. Either way, Jubbling is not very excited about his plan for the future of energy because it’s all about maintaining our level of consumption. We really like the consume less idea. Plus, if Bill is correct [again], I’ll probably lose my unpaid job at Jubbling.

Update: After reading about Android@Home’s goal to advance smart home technology, I’m starting to think that Bill Gates’ comments were less about “cute” home efficiency products and more about Google’s role in that market.


Best Way To Reduce Price Of Gas: Increased Drilling Or Increased Fuel Economy?

What to increase: Offshore oil drilling or fuel efficency in cars?Good posted an article on how increasing the fuel economy of our vehicles would do more to reduce gas prices than would offshore drilling. It’s kind of a pre-reduce idea that is great in theory but would be difficult to mandate. Sheesh, we can’t even phase out 100 watt light bulbs without opposition (thank you South Carolina).

The article is still a good read and makes the point that we should not just focus on trying to increase the supply of oil. Reducing demand may be a more effective method for dealing with rising fuel prices.


Jubbling Doesn’t Think Rising Gas Prices Is All Bad News

The Seattle Times posted an article from the Associated Press, Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise.

Consumer spending information analyzed and supplied by MasterCard Spending Pulse has determined that gasoline consumption has gone down despite the fact that more people have returned to work. The high price of gas is obviously motivating the reduction but consumers are also downsizing their vehicles and/or finding alternative modes of transportation. According to the article, in addition to downsizing, more people are carpooling, riding mass transit or walking to where the need to get.

Moving away from gas and our normal patterns is not going to be easy but changing our habits now may be the only solution. As we reduce in the US, the worldwide demand for gasoline continues to increase due to an influx of new gas consumers in countries like China. Translation: the price of gas isn’t likely to go down permanently so choosing to consume less now and developing alternate means is probably a better option than being forced to make that decision later.


Putting Wind Turbines In Living Trees May Drive Increased Wind Power Acceptance

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This post was inspired by an article on Inhabitat
Being able to incorporate a wind turbine into a living tree may seem farfetched but it’s something Jubbling thinks will make the technology more attractive and affordable. According to, the power generated by a tree-top mounted turbine is 30% less than a standard wind power generator its size but still enough to supply its builder, Architect Wolfgang Frey, and his nearby neighbors with power. We have to assume that the installation costs were less too since his tree-top wind turbine does not require a base. Mr. Frey’s tree-top wind turbine idea is not original [thank you Queen Wind Turbine] but it is the first application we’ve heard of where this Macgyverish technology is in use.