I believe knowledge is power – the power to change our behavior for the better. Driving a hybrid car with dashboard feedback on fuel efficiency lets you know instantly how you can change your driving habits to reduce the amount of gas you use.
What if you could see instantly how much electricity, natural gas, and water you were using in your home? Would you turn off the lights more often? Plug in fewer gadgets? Turn down the gas on the stove when not needed?
To this end, I got myself a new gadget called Kill-A-Watt which provides feedback on electricity usage by standard appliances. So far I’ve tested it on my cell phone charger (0.01 kWh/h) and table lamp with CFL bulb (122.3 kWh/h). I’m going to test more appliances and gadgets around the house and will keep track of the results here. I’m especially curious about comparisons between lamps with CFL bulbs and conventional; computer in active vs. hibernate mode, etc.
In Georgia we are paying about 4 cents/kWh until June. Cost isn’t my concern (I think power is way too cheap), but it is easier to deal with psychologically than kilowatts. I’ll translate the figures to dollars eventually.
Cell phone charger (Blackberry charging and not charging, but wall wart plugged in) = 0.01 kWh/h
Table lamp with CFL bulb = 122.3 kWh/h [I think this is an error – I was looking at the wrong setting]
Computer equipment plugged into UPS = 11.3 kWh/h
To be continued…..