March 18, 2009 by Chuck McKenney
Anyone wanting to know exactly how much electricity a certain appliance is burning through each day can buy an energy monitor - such as Kill-a-Watt or Watts Up.
You plug the monitor into an outlet and the appliance into the monitor. The monitor then counts up the watts. With a little math, you can determine how much the appliance is costing you. But how do you know whether these energy monitors take accurate readings?
Researchers at Consumer Reports used the Kill-a-Watt and Watts Up devices to measure the power consumed by a refrigerator and computer and compared those results with their own high-tech meters.
Here are the findings:
Guess watt? Kill A Watt and Watts Up were accurate, and both can teach you how much an appliance contributes to utility costs. If that makes you use the appliance less or at lower-cost times of day (ask your utility when those are), you could save money. The devices can also help you compare energy costs of an appliance you own now with projected costs listed on any new one you might buy.
The Kill-a-Watt retails for $25, and you can buy Watts Up for $95.
Via: Consumer Reports
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