Automatically power appliances only when they are needed
Cambridge-based Energy Reducing Products (ERP) has launched the ELIMINATA range of intelligent plugs that tailor electricity supply to appliance usage and can pay for themselves in a year. ELIMINATA takes the guesswork out of energy saving by supplying power to office appliances only when it is needed.
ERP was founded by two serial-entrepreneurs, John Halfpenny and Giles Hutchinson. John says: “It’s inevitable that at the end of a long day the last person out of the office doesn’t always remember to go around checking that every appliance is switched off. In fact, many need to be left on for a little while longer: you may want to leave a printer to finish a job overnight, and the water cooler needs to regularly run its sanitisation features.
“ELIMINATA overcomes these problems by learning how the appliance is used within the office and switching the power supply so that it’s only on when it’s needed.
“For example, ELIMINATA Laptop Saver disconnects the power when the battery is fully charged and reconnects it if the battery needs charging. This allows you to keep the laptop plugged in without wasting electricity. Normally, even when a laptop is switched off it will draw power from the mains, which not only wastes energy but also shortens the battery life.”
ELIMINATA is easy to use with existing appliances – you just plug it in as you would an extension cable – and it can pay for itself within 12-18 months.
John explains that ELIMINATA is very easy to use – once it’s been plugged in there is nothing more to do and it just gets on with saving energy day-in and day-out: “Not only does ELIMINATA never forget to turn appliances off when they are not needed, but it uses an on-board microcomputer to learn about the environment where it’s working so that it can deliver more savings.
“Most offices have a routine of five days where lots of energy is used, followed by a weekend where nothing is operated. ELIMINATA records this data, so it knows not to turn appliances on at the weekend. If you do come in at the weekend there is an override button on EMILINATA so you can easily turn your appliances on again.
“It is fitted with a light sensor which switches the appliance off when it is dark, but if you have a security guard who turns lights on briefly during night-time patrols you can set ELIMINATA so it won’t power up the printer in these situations.”
The patent protected ELIMINATA range currently includes three products: the Laptop Saver, the Laser-Copier Saver, which switches printers and copiers off over night, and the Water Dispenser Saver which is suitable for coolers and boilers. Not only does the latter switch the appliances off during nights and weekends, but it also briefly turns water coolers on again every two hours so that the sanitiser prevents contamination.
British businesses waste £500 million of electricity each year by leaving office equipment switched on when it’s not in use. ELIMINATA has been trialled within local government and large corporations and in all the cases was successful in reducing costs.
John says: “About 8% of every company’s electricity bill is wasted by appliances that aren’t been used. Now instead of having to make a conscious decision to switch devices off, ELIMINATA means that they are only on when they are needed.”
Written by Nina Beadle