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Chicago a pioneer in gadget energy gauging

Updated: January 17, 2012 11:56AM

The new buzzword for New Year’s shopping is “green” or even “ecol” — shorthand for the environmentally conscious.

Jim Barry, the “digital answer man” with the Consumer Electronics Association, says Chicagoans don’t have to go far to uphold their green values.

Best Buy stores in Chicago are among the first to sell a $50 energy-saving “modlet,” a plug-in that looks like a mini-power strip, that monitors the energy consumption of your plugged-in devices.

The modlet, from New York-based ThinkEco, connects wirelessly to your computer’s UBS receiver.

The software “views” the real-time energy consumption sets schedules for turning off and on the devices based on when they are being used, and keeps track of the electricity savings. Consumers may also buy “smart” power strips that turn off electronic devices when they are not being used.

For people who want to recycle electronics when they buy a new one, check out Enter your zip code to find retailers and other locations where you can recycle your electronics.

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