We all talk about energy efficiency, the high cost of fuel and electricity, inflation, recession, rising costs, stagnant incomes, the environment, along with an endless list of other related issues. The question is how many of us really do something about it? What can we do to actually save some money and energy? Sure we can make an effort to turn lights out after we leave the room or shut down the PC when not in use (or at least turn off the monitor). The big ones are easy to spot and easy to correct. No one has to explain that the new refrigerator is going to be more energy efficient than the 20 year old one it replaces. But what about the little stuff?
Death by a Thousand Cuts
You don’t have to bleed big to bleed to death. Saving energy and money can be accomplished on a large scale…a few pennies at a time. Take a look around your home. Your electric bill covers everything that is plugged into the wall. Most items even when they are ‘off’ or in ‘sleep’ mode use electricity. How is that possible?
Simply put, most contemporary technology includes some cute little lights (that never seem to go off), a clock or other constant readout device and, most popular of all, one of those little transformers you plug into the wall to power up or charge innumerable items.
This power leaching group includes anything from your microwave (don’t forget that clock) to your answering machine, cell phone charger or cordless telephone. Most people aren’t aware that these devices draw current 24/7/365 whether you are actively using them or not. More importantly, every minute of the day that innocuous little transformer is plugged in, it is drawing current. The result is hundreds of dollars a year spent by the average household on standby and unused devices.
The Only Good Watt…
A company called P3 International has developed a group of Kill A Watt products that will help you get all those power draining devices under control. Using the Kill A Watt™ EZ is a simple as plugging it in.
The device comes packaged with all the simple instructions you need. About the only legwork you’ll need to do is to find a recent electric bill and determine what you are paying per kilowatt hour. If that gets too confusing just call your local utility company and they will tell you your current rate (no pun intended).
Now comes the fun. Pick an appliance. Unplug it. Plug in the Kill A Watt™ EZ, press its reset button and enter your KWH rate. Plug the appliance back into the Kill A Watt™ EZ and get readouts of everything from power consumption to costs per day, month, year etc. The large LCD display and simple menu/button interface makes it a breeze to see just how much it cost you to read this article. It may require a few moments to get your information as it takes a little time to accumulate enough power usage to determine your costs.
Empower Your Power
Take a few minutes. Go from room to room testing different devices. Look at the results not just on a daily or weekly basis, but over the whole year. The results may be shocking (yes, I said it) to say the least.
We did a quick survey around our office area to see just how much it was costing us to have all our little devices plugged in and not doing anything. Suffice it to say, that if we take a moment to unplug unused devices, remove charging transformers from the wall socket when not in use and even unplug unused computers*, we could save several hundred dollars a year.
Your home or office may not have as many gizmos, but, using a Kill A Watt™ EZ and a few minutes of your time will save you much more than you would expect. If you shop around a bit, you can find this money saver for under $40.00
For more information go to www.p3international.com
*[yes, they draw power too! Not a believer? Plug a USB device such as an MP3 player into a USB port with the computer power off. Well, what do you know, it charges it anyway. That’s because power is still flowing through the system.]