Find out how much electricity your appliances are actually using.
Ever wonder exactly how much electricity your various appliances are actually using , such as your fridge and TV? Good news, there is a fun and engaging way to find out: plug meters!
A plug meter is a device that plugs into any appliance or electronic to measure in, real time, how much electricity the item is using. Plug meters are really simple to use and understand. They are available for free at many libraries and utilities. Refer to the links on the energy detective page to find if they are in your available area. If you want to purchase a meter, they cost only about $20. Here is how to use your plug meter :
1. Pick the appliance or electronic you want to check
2. Plug it into the plug meter
3. Come back after about 24 hours and it will tell you how much electricity it uses
4. Use the MN Energy Challenge plug meter calculator (under “my plug meter” tab when you log on to the Challenge) to see how much the individual appliance is costing you each year!
5. Find a way to cut down on the costs by using power strips and turning them OFF.
Parents: ever have difficulty explaining why the kids should turn off the TV or unplug the microwave when not in use? Have them help you set up the plug meter and read the results to show them that many things use electricity when they are still plugged in. It is also pretty fun to search around the house to find the item that uses the most electricity!