When it comes to my home’s energy use, I generally don’t think twice about it until my monthly energy bill arrives. I’m sure you can relate in that when making each payment I often wonder what I can do to get those costs to go down. Hey, I’m as budget conscious as the next person – I’ve switched to CFL lights, regulate my home’s temperature and have even replaced a couple drafty windows with energy-efficient models. But still, I know there has to be more I can do to save.
And that’s when I discovered Power Check, a free, energy efficiency program offered by Xcel Energy and my local library. I checked out the Power Check meter, took it home and plugged it into appliances and electronics to see how much energy was being used.
It was really easy – trust me, if it was complicated this girl wouldn’t have touched it. There’s an instruction booklet that guides you step-by-step and the meter shows you a lot of helpful information:
- Operating costs of various appliances and electronics such as refrigerators, TVs, computers, etc.
- High energy-use appliances
- Potential savings from reducing appliance use
- Potential savings for replacing older appliances with energy-efficient models
- How much energy appliances use even when switched off
And if you want even more detailed info, you can plug the meter into your computer to graph energy use and see what changes you can make to save the most energy.
As for my home, I found I’m wasting about $8.00 a month through my appliances and electronics (thank you clunky, old washing machine) which may not seem like a lot, but really adds up over time. And sneaky “energy vampires”, appliances that use energy even when switched off, were uncovered in surprising places.
I’ve definitely become more energy conscious and see how little changes can save big in the long run – like shutting off lights when I leave a room or completely powering down my laptop – and I suspect by taking a whole-home assessment I can find even more ways to be energy efficient.
So if you too, want to discover ways to save energy and money in your own home, I recommend making a trip to your local library and checking out a Power Check meter – just ask the Circulation Desk. Click here to see what libraries are participating in your area.
The more you know the more you can save!
By Connector, Carrie Steffan.