A professor at Oberlin College has created new tools that measure the amount of energy used in homes and buildings, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The "energy orb" developed by Dr. John Petersen is modeled after technology that informs investors how their stocks are performing. The orb promotes energy efficiency by reminding homeowners to check their energy use by viewing another Petersen invention called the "building dashboard" from their home computers. Like a car dashboard, the building dashboard tells homeowners how much money and carbon dioxide emissions they have saved.

Oberlin College uses the orbs in six of its dormitories. During a recent science fair, Oberlin students figured that the school saved 56 percent in energy thanks to the awareness generated by the orbs.