Ever wonder how much
electricity different devices in your home are using?
Now you can find out. A simple gizmo called the Kill A Watt
will tell you.
You can buy one for about $25. Also, Arlington County
Libraries have started an innovative program. You can borrow
one, just like a book. You just check it out with your library
It's easy to use. You just plug in a device and press the red
button. It will calculate how many kilowatts it uses. You can
multiply the result by what you pay for electricity. If your
utilities are included in your rent, a rough average is about
7 cents per kilowatt-hour for this part of the country.
A couple of surprises I found out. A laptop uses a fraction of
what a desktop computer and monitor use. Also, a dehumidifier
uses a ton of electricity. As you'd expect, regular light bulbs
use a lot more juice than fluorescents.
This would be a great device for a church or community group
to get, and lend out to members.
There are likely to be
surprise in most people's homes. For instance, people that
have a lot of remote control devices find that they use about
4 watts when they are in the standby mode. Ten of these can
use as much as a refrigerator, one of the big energy users in
a home. Some people plug these remote controlled devices into
a power strip. They can flip the switch on the power strip to
turn it on, then still control their stereo or whatever.
This is well worth the 25 dollar investment.