Murphy has an exciting new product available at the circulation desk: the Kill-a-Watt energy meter. This handy little device measures how many kilowatt hours your appliances use so you can be mindful of your energy consumption! Using it is easy, too. Simply plug it into the outlet and plug your appliance(s) into the Kill-a-Watt meter. After a while – I left it in for seven days – simply push the colored button the the right side and it will tell you how many kilowatt hours you have used.
My total kilowatt hours consumed was 12.3, though I didn’t have my fridge or microwave plugged in since I couldn’t fit the energy meter between the loft and the wall. For the week that I had it plugged in, my appliances (my computer, phone charger, printer, TV, VCR player, DVD player, and any other small appliances I plugged in on and off) cost $1.15. This would be $4.60 per month. This might not seem like much, but remember, it doesn’t include the fridge, microwave, lights, any other high-consumption appliances, or even my roomate’s computer (which is almost always on and plugged in).
The same amount of energy use that costed $4.60 here in Wisconsin would have costed $7.07 in California, $3.12 in Idaho, and $8.39 in New York (per month).**
It would take ten pounds of coal to generage the 12.3 kWh that I consumed. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/question481.htm)
Well that is enough math for me for the rest of the week! I hope you check out a Kill-a-Watt meter! Even if you live in the dorms, it is nice to know how much energy you consume, or waste! It can also help those who live off campus to pinpoint what appliances are wasting the most energy. Remember, always unplug what you are not immediately using and turn off all lights if you don’t need them on. Together, we can help save the world!… maybe not, but we can try.
*Energy cost estimated through information on the Intitute for Energy Research Wisconsin factsheet(http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/state-regs/pdf/Wisconsin.pdf) Since prices change so much, the this may not be the current rate
**The rates for other states came from a very shaky-looking source. It is not to be relied on completely, but is just used to give a broad idea of where Wisconsin stands on energy costs. The website I took the California, Idaho, and New York information is found at http://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state.php.