, the makers of the new Unplug app
for Facebook, are hoping their pledging system — which asks to turn off specific devices on Earth Day 2010 — will make energy conservation "go viral."
It's a lofty and noble goal and one which has been tried numerous times. So unless they unveil some incentive system (like points or virtual gifts) it's unlikely that it will have the desired viral effect. But there's more to this app than meets the eye. It appears that a lot of data-crunching went into the first set of calculations.
Unplug calculates stand-by averages for each device type. So, for instance, an hour of unplugging your clothes drier is worth 4.3 pounds CO2, while unplugging your microwave only nets you 0.1 pounds of CO2, bringing a certain wonky credibility to the pledging process.
If you're attempting to make your energy-saving pledges using your Google phone, you might want to first check to see how much energy you're burning with a slick app called Power Tutor:
The app runs on the Android platform and allows users (and developers) to see how much energy specific applications are pulling from your battery with an accuracy within 5 percent. Now if only someone can combine these two apps and make it available on the iPhone, we would be set!