The question I get the most is, “how much can I save if I unplug my __?” I could make a good guess. But, it would just be an educated guess. If you want to find out, the best way is to measure it.
The Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor is just the tool for the job. It is easy to use and is intended for home and professional use.
Any household device or appliance that you plug into a standard outlet (USA 120-volt AC 15 amp. 60 Hz) in your house can be plugged into the Kill-A-Watt.
In addition to reading the total power used you can monitor the flow and quality of your power by displaying Amps, Watts, Voltage, Frequency, and Power Factor. It gives you more data than you are likely to need, all with 2% accuracy.
It is small, easy to use and allows you to check the amount of power any item is actually using.
A large LCD display counts consumption by the Kilowatt-hour, same as on your electric bill. You can have fun with math and figure out your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month, even an entire year.
Yes, it is like working out a story problem in high school math class. Take the billed dollars on your electric bill and divide them by the kilowatt-hours you used. Both numbers are printed somewhere on your bill. The answer is your own gross cost per kilowatt-hour.
My last home electric bill was $70.24 for 588 kilowatt-hours of power. So, my gross power cost is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. The bill says they charge 6.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, but that does not include the taxes, service fees and delivery charges. I estimate that my incremental cost of power is about 8 cents a kilowatt-hour. That means my next kilowatt-hour will cost me about 8 cents.
Test Driving a Kill-A-Watt
I checked my home computer workstation (laptop computer, printer and cable modem.) In one hour of normal use, it used 0.01 kWh so it costs me a tiny fraction of 1 cent an hour. That is about 2 cents a day if I left it on all the time. Not very much money so I don’t need to feel guilty about blogging. If you are using a desktop computer, rather than a laptop, your cost will be higher.
I took my Kill-A-Watt to work.
My “at work” computer monitor pulls power like a 75-watt light bulb when I am working full speed. In sleep mode, it uses only 2 watts. It is an old TV tube style monitor. My at work desktop computer pulls power like a 100 watt light bulb. Combined they run up the bill at a penny an hour at their power cost.
I tested a one-quarter horsepower fan at work. It used 12.55 kWh in a day or 69 cents a day at their power cost. Sound small but it totals $250 a year, for just one fan. If someone shuts it off when it is not need, their power bill will go down.
Back at home
I plugged my cell phone charger in to the Kill-A-Watt for 35 hours 29 minutes before I noticed that it registered its first 0.01 kilowatt-hours. (The Kill-A-Watt has a timer that lets you know how long it has been collecting data.) It took two, over night, charging cycles for the Kill-A-Watt to register anything. I estimate the cost, leaving it plugged in all the time, is about 20 cents a year.
Folks in the government say the problem with cell phone chargers is that there are millions of them. I don’t think they are a problem considering the benefit we get using them. We all have bigger opportunities.
Measuring the usage helps to focus your energy saving efforts where there is a significant pay off.
How much does it cost to make toast, use the electric fry pan, the microwave, blow dry your hair or warm up with the electric blanket?
Get a Kill-A-Watt and find out.
The ENERGY BOOMER uses a Kill-A-Watt at home and on the job.
Order yours today by clicking this link Kill-A-Watt.
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