Measure appliance energy use with a plug-in power meter
Want to find out how much your energy saving efforts are paying off? Plug-in power meters are educational gadgets that can show you the exact amount of electricity your electronics and appliances use. Once you know this information, you can focus your energy saving efforts on those things that use the most energy.
How it works:
- Connect the meter to an outlet; then, plug a device or appliance into the meter. The meter's screen will display how much electricity the device or appliance is using. Try it out on your TV, stereo, computer and other electronics.
- Compare the electricity usage of different devices and appliances in your home; then, set priorities. You'll want to address the biggest consumers of energy first.
- Test electronics with a meter while they are off or idle. You may be surprised to see how much power they draw even when you're not using them. This process can help you identify devices you should turn off with a power strip or unplug when not in use.
What to look for:
- Energy usage history. Some models can store energy data and connect to your computer to show usage analysis. You can calculate your electrical expenses by the day, week, month, even an entire year.
- Display in kilowatt-hours. Look for a power meter that displays readings in kilowatt-hours (kWh) as this is what you see when you get your energy bill.