1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

January 5, 2008

:005 Determining individual appliance electric use

Suggested Review – :001, :002, :003, :004


1:5:10:005 Tip: Yesterday I talked about using your public utility electric meter to monitor energy use in your home to track hidden electricity use. If you would like to know how much energy a particular appliance is using, you can use yesterday’s technique to calculate this by turning the appliance on and re-timing the spinning dial, repeating the calculations and noting the difference. The extra electric use will be from the appliance that was turned on. This is the no-cost way to monitor the energy use for individual plug in items that operate off of 110 volts. This is obviously a real pain.

There is a very easy way to monitor energy use one appliance at a time by using an electric use monitor. 

These meters monitor electric use for any 110 volt electric plug in device. This one – the “Kill-a-Watt” retails for about $40.00 but can be found for under $25.00.
Tomorrow the 1:5:10 tips will head in a different direction for about two weeks, then we will come back and look at monitoring and reducing our electricity use by cutting down on the trickle current when the electrical appliance is in standby mode. The two weeks will give you a chance to purchase and receive an electric use monitor. If purchasing a meter isn’t an option you can also continue to use the meter method I described yesterday and today.
Additional Information
One of the least expensive places I have found the “Kill-a-Watt” on line is Amazon. Right now it is selling for $20.98 plus shipping.

To purchase from Amazon (click here): Kill A Watt  (in the interest of full disclosure – I have signed up as an Amazon Associate. If you use this link to purchase a “Kill-a-Watt” I will receive a commission – I think it is 4%).


Record the 1:5:10 time you spent. If you decide to purchase an electric use meter make sure to record the price you paid in your journal. Pretty soon we will be tracking expenses and savings, so you would consider this your first expense.


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