07/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Wave of the Future

Many of us are taking steps to conserve water and energy in our homes and offices, because after all, commercial and residential buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy usage and droughts are increasing. But we never really know just how effective our efforts are. It's like being on a diet and not knowing what the high calorie items are so you can cut down on them. Imagine the possibilities if you were able to accurately gauge and monitor a building's carbon footprint...I don't know about you but I don't seem to make my way to the electric meter on the side of my house and I have no way of knowing what appliances are actually doing what! I recently heard a story about someone who installed the system and then discovered it was his panini maker that was responsible for drawing A LOT of energy - who knew! This system enables you to know which lights should only be turned on for parties and which ones could be used as night lights. The Resource Monitor from AgileWaves is one very cool futuristic answer... Founded by former Nasa scientists, AgileWaves" system monitors each electrical circuit, water line and the main gas line in addition to tracking the performance of major appliances and calculating the resource consumption by room or floor, all in real time. It can even track green or 'living' roofs and solar cells. The built-in touchscreen interface or personal webpage makes all the info available to you - so you can actually manage it. For starters, you'd certainly be able to ascertain when your efforts start waning and it's time to step things up. It's like having a really quiet friend to give you an eco-nudge!