We're still not totally sold on the technology behind the E-Cat dirt cheap eco-friendly fully operational household cold fusion thing, mostly because things that seem too good to be true usually turn out to be exactly that way. But whether we believe it or not, household systems reportedly may be available in Home Depot later this year.
According to the rather secretive people behind the Energy Catalyzer (or E-Cat), the breadbox-sized device uses a jump start of electricity to begin combining hydrogen with nickel via a special catalyst to generate heat. It doesn't emit any carbon and isn't radioactive, but it has about the same power density as a uranium fission reactor core. And since we have lots of hydrogen and nickel here on Earth, the E-Cat is exceptionally cheap to operate.
Last we heard, a large-scale E-Cat test back in October was declared a success despite some questionable circumstances. This technology is in no way proven (at least, not to the satisfaction of most people who expect things like unrestricted independent scientific evaluations), but E-Cat is confident enough to be in talks with Home Depot for the distribution of residential E-Cat systems here in the U.S.
If this happens, sometime this autumn you'll be able to order a home E-Cat system for somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500. It'll be easy to install (your contractor can do it), and it'll take over all of your household thermal (water and air heating) and air conditioning demands. The E-Cat should pay for itself in "a few months" (depending on your existing energy usage and rates), and after that it'll run for another 30 years for free.
Again, this would be totally awesome if it happens. If the E-Cat is everything it claims to be, it has the potential to revolutionize the energy industry. But it's awfully strange that the people behind E-Cat have been so reticent to allow comprehensive scientific testing, and usually what that means is that there's something fishy going on. Not always, but usually. We definitely don't want to dismiss this, but either way, we'll be looking forward to seeing E-Cats in action (or not) later this year.