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NEW! Plug Meter Calculator

5 July 2011

You’ve put in the energy efficient light bulbs and you’re turning off lights like a champ, so why is your electricity bill so high?  A fun and easy way to identify energy offenders is to use plug meters!  Plug meters are simple devices that will measure the real-time electricity use of appliances and electronics, so you can see exactly how much electricity they are actually using – and how much you’re paying for it.  We’ve created a simple calculator on the Energy Challenge where you can enter in your plug meter readings and see how your appliance or electronic measures up!

  •  Get a plug meter – you can usually check one out from your local library system or borrow one from your electric utility.  Common brands are “Kill-a-Watt” and “Power Check” meters.
  • Read the instructions!  To use our calculator, you’ll need to collect two data points: kilowatt hours (kWh) and hours using electricity (hE).
  • Pick the offending electronic or appliance to check.  Plug your plug meter into an outlet, and then plug the electronic into the meter.  Leave it plugged in for at least a few days to get an accurate reading.
  • Visit, click on “Login” to log onto your Challenge account, then click on “My Plug Meter” to find the calculator.  Enter your readings and we’ll tell you how your appliance measures up!

:: Be an Energy Detective

One Comment leave one →
  1. 5 July 2011 4:31 pm

    I really like the kill-a-watt, and it is very helpful in discovering how much those always-on (or intermittent, like refrigerators) items use over time. The kill-a-watt is inexpensive, too, from several places online. Just in case you like it so much after checking it out from the library, you have to have one of your own. 🙂

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