How many appliances are running in your house right now? Remember that just because a device is “off”, it does not necessarily mean it isn’t drawing on electricity. Televisions, DVD players, refrigerators, microwaves, computers, cell phone chargers, etc. are all constantly drawing power when they are plugged in. This could be leading to unnecessarily high energy bills. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine what appliances are sucking the most energy out of your outlets, and subsequently the most money out of your wallet.
The first way to find out how much energy is being sucked up is available to anyone with access to the circuit breakers and kilowatt meter. First, check the meter to see what the rate of consumption is. Find out how many watts are consumed over 15 seconds and multiply that by 4 to figure out the watts per minute. Next, you can shut off the circuit to a particular room and repeat the check on the meter to find out how much a room is consuming. Alternatively, you can unplug high drain items like entire entertainment centers (often connected via multi-port power strips), refrigerators, or air conditioners. When you check the meter again, you should notice a change in the rate at which electricity is consumed. This can help narrow down what devices or rooms are using the most energy.
Alternatively, investing in an ammeter will allow you to pinpoint energy culprits without all the constant back and forth of checking your energy meter. An ammeter plug connects to the wires in your home to determine exactly how much electricity is coursing through them. There are several variations of the ammeter, but the Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is probably one of the handiest. Simply plug the monitor into an outlet and plug another device into the monitor. The digital readout will tell you the consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) for the device, even if the device is off. By measuring each device, you can see exactly which ones are stealing all your energy.
Another method to help monitor your electricity needs is to install a home energy monitor. The TED 5000 and Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor connect to the main lines coming into your house, as well as up to 24 individual circuits. They both integrate with computer software, giving you a detailed look at the energy consumption over nearly any period of time. These programs can be used to set a plan to reduce energy consumption, thus saving yourself money.
One of the simplest ways to cut back on your electricity usage, especially for powered down devices that still consume energy, is to connect them to a power strip with a manual on/off switch. By flipping this switch to “off,” you are completely cutting off the supply of electricity to the devices plugged into the strip. This stops them from drawing any electricity at all.
About Glacial Energy: Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com.