This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Home power monitoring

Posted by Matt

I read a great article the other day that made me glad that I chose an LCD when my wife bought me a new TV for my birthday last year. From the article:

The LCD is clearly the winner in energy efficiency. The CRT uses 60 percent more energy than the LCD, and the plasma uses 319 percent more than an LCD!

That got me thinking about energy usage (again; see here and here) throughout my house. I've already read a lot about other people (especially personal finance bloggers) using a device called the "Kill-A-Watt" to track and thereby reduce their energy usage, and have been considering purchasing one.

You plug individual devices into this gadget, then plug it into the wall and read the energy usage from the display. It's an easy way to find out where you are spending the most for electricity. But not everyone is willing to run around the whole house pulling plugs. (Sounds like a fun project to me, actually).

However, I'm glad I waited. I just received a newsletter from my electric company alerting me to a promotion for WHOLE HOUSE monitors. From their article:

Studies show that households that use real-time feedback monitors use less energy and save money. That’s why Energy Trust of Oregon is conducting a 2008 study of how home energy monitors affect residential energy consumption. Qualified households can purchase a Blue Line PowerCost Monitorfor just $29.99, an 80% discount from the $149.99 retail price.

A discount on something that will help me save money? Of course I signed up right away. The Blueline power monitor is in the mail, so stay tuned for upcoming posts about how I'm going to drive my wife crazy by becoming the energy police around our house. The portion pictured above goes on a wall inside the house (like a thermostat), so it should be fairly easy to turn lights and appliances on and off to do some testing and we can also just watch how our usage varies throughout the day.

I also forwarded the information to another local blogger (J.D. from GetRichSlowly; also an Oregonian and hopefully eligible for the promotion) in the hopes of getting perspective from another household.

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