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How can I figure out how much electricity my appliances use?

There are two easy ways. First, you can get a plug-in energy monitor such as the Kill-a-Watt or TrickleStar. These devices plug into a wall socket and then you plug the appliance cord into the monitor. You can see how much power (in watts) the appliance is drawing on a display screen. Most brands of plug-in monitor allow you to display the energy consumption in terms of watts, dollar cost, and the CO2 equivalent for the full period that the monitor is in use or for a projected period.

Plug-in monitors are available from hardware stores or online. If you live in Monroe County, Indiana, or nearby cities such as Nashville or Spencer  you can borrow one from the public library, along with an instruction sheet. SIREN donated approximately a dozen to the Monroe County Public Library as an extension of its educational program.  The REMC electric cooperatives have provided them to other local libraries.

Secondly, if you are considering a move or building a new home, you might want to use this online usage calculator. It provides average energy consumption values for kitchen appliances, domestic well pumps, entertainment devices, other household equipment, and heating equipment. You can tally the projected monthly kilowatt usage for all relevant items and estimate your monthly electric bill.

Category: Solar Basics

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