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Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu
By Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu December 21, 2023

Elon Musk has not invented an energy-saving device that reduces power bills

If Your Time is short

  • A post claiming Elon Musk has invented an energy-saving device to reduce power bills is an example of a popular tactic online scammers use. 

  • Although Musk is involved in the electricity generation business through his company Tesla that sells solar panels, he has not made an energy-saving device that would cut users’ electricity bills.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is known for leading innovating companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. But Facebook posts claiming he has a new invention that will shrink your energy bill are not based in reality.

According to the Facebook post, Musk, who owns X, formerly Twitter, has won a nine-month "fight for justice" that would bring an energy-saving product to market.

"The Department of Justice has dismissed all allegations, recognizing that his energy-saving device has the potential to cut electricity bills by 80%," the post said. "This not-for-profit device is now legally available for purchase, with power companies unable to intervene."

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The post is accompanied by a photo of Musk appearing to be emotional in front of a microphone. But the image was likely generated with artificial intelligence, because we could not find a legitimate copy of it online. The post links to a website promising "Half Price for Seniors - Unbeatable Savings!"

There is no evidence from news reports or statements from Musk’s companies that he has developed or is pushing this kind of device. Musk also has not announced any such legal victory on his personal social media accounts, including X. 

The accompanying article in the Facebook post promotes Slash Watts, which retails for $49. Before Musk, Slash Watts has been erroneously linked to Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, according to Malware Tips, a website that tracks online scams. Devices purporting to save unsuspecting people are a popular online scam activity.

The article is also made to look like a Fox News story, but we found no evidence of the news outlet reporting on the product or endorsing it.

The article also claims Musk invented the device after Dorothy Smith, a Tesla employee, died of heatstroke because she couldn’t afford to keep her home cool. The photo accompanying the article is of James and Donna Muller, a Wisconsin couple who died of their injuries after being struck by lightning outside the White House in August 2022.

Independent fact-checking organizations have checked similar claims about Musk inventing a power saver and found them bogus. 

Musk does have interest in solar energy. In 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity to "create the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from energy generation to storage to transportation." But Fortune magazine recently reported that the business has struggled so far.

We rate the claim that Elon Musk invented an energy-saving device that could "cut electricity bills by 80%" Pants on Fire!

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Elon Musk has not invented an energy-saving device that reduces power bills

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