Green App of the Week (6/17- 6/23/12)

June 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

The Sustainability Revolution has begun! Green is taking over our world. From solar panels popping up on suburban roofs around the country, to local, organically grown foods being sold in an exponentially growing number of local markets,  it’s became generally accepted that sustainably-minded business is here to stay. Last week, I wrote about a new social network that can help eco-geeks band together, and after a bit of research, I’ve discovered another field of emerging green business: Apps. Starting with today’s post, every week I will feature a different Green App – some clearly focused on sustainability, others that can be used for environmentally friendly purposes.

Today’s App: Verde 

Verde means “Green” in Spanish, a fitting name for this iPad app, which is a kind of all-encompassing app for conducting your own personal do-it-yourself energy audit. In just four easy steps, you can figure out how to save (according to the app’s website) an average of $200 a year in energy costs.

It’s easy to use. Start by selecting your geographical zone from a map, then let the app use your location to figure out your electricity rate cost. Third, add appliances and other energy-consuming devices you have at home from one of 7 categories (Lighting, Heating, Air Conditioning, Computers and TV, Kitchen Appliances, Other Electronics, and Electric Vehicles). For each appliance, you can be as specific, or as nonspecific as you want and edit how often you use it to more accurately account for it’s energy consumption. Last but not least, you click finalize and end up with a report like the one below, detailing exactly how to make your home more energy-efficienct – and cost efficient.

Your Final Report

What I love about this app is that it takes the idea of an Energy Audit – something that is often free, but still intimidating – and makes it easy to do yourself. Many homeowners don’t like to have their homes audited, because they feel that they get pressured into doing the repairs recommended to them, so Verde provides an alternative, allowing homeowners to make their own decisions, or to check up on what they’re told by professional auditors. The app is super easy to use, and can be as specific or nonspecific as possible. The only flaws I find are the app’s focus on electricity, and not so much on other types of energy (i.e. gas), and that it basically ignores the idea of airflow and home sealing, which reasonably can’t be measured by an app. Overall, however, I love this app – it focuses on exactly what I think is important – things that are easy to do and have super-significant environmental and economic impacts.

My Grade: A-

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