How to Check Electricity and Energy Use

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Do you know how much energy each of my 30″ monitors takes up? Do you know how much they cost me on a monthly basis? More importantly… how much does YOUR computer cost you a month? Do you even know, or know how to find out? I just received my Electricity bill for the months of November and December. Let’s just say, I need to do some troubleshooting, and figure out how to lower my costs.

Last year on my holiday wish list, I had an item from ThinkGeek listed. The Watts Up Pro will give you a readout of information from whatever you plug into it. Simply plug any device into Watt’s Up and the meter instantaneously displays the wattage being used, as well as 18 other values, including average monthly cost. The device records this data into non-volatile memory (stored even if power is lost). One thousand seven hundred data points are stored, starting with a sampling rate resolution of one second. It records any power interruptions, which is extremely handy when performing an audit of several devices. Watt’s Up is also capable of real-time logging. It even includes a payback calculator software utility, which automatically calculates the time required for a new energy efficient appliance to pay for itself!

Here is some of the information you can receive with this:

  • Cost, in dollars and cents
  • Frequency
  • Volt-Amps
  • Average monthly cost
  • Power factor
  • True power
  • Average monthly kwh
  • Cumulative power (kwh)
  • Power cycle

If you know of other Tech gadgets that we could use around our house that are user-friendly… be sure to leave me a follow-up comment, or send an email to me at [email protected]


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36 thoughts on “How to Check Electricity and Energy Use”

  1. Can anyone tell me how a flat screen monitor compares in usage to a traditional tube monitor? I was wondering if electrical savings could pay for the upgrade.

  2. for UK Youtuber`s…
    Plug-in-Mains powered Energy Monitor now sale price ( £9.99p ) Maplins Offers Cat p.11
    as of 23rd Jan 08…Cheeers and thanks for the video Chris 🙂

  3. This is a HUGE problem that most people underestimate when setting up a new computer. So many computers have been fried due to surges.

  4. My physics teacher told my class ( years ago) how to calculate the cost of energy, Unfortunately i cannot remember how to calculate it now. I wish i knew, beats buying a gadget,

  5. I use the Kill-A-Watt for these purposes. True, you have to do the calculations by hand – but it costs a paltry $20 and gets you the info you need to figure out just how much everything’s using. I’ve got some of my data posted on my blog if you’re interested. Do post your data too Chris!

  6. I never leave my computer on when im not using it so i dont think i use that much power. Probably could unplug the whole system then i wouldnt use anything when im not there. saving money is cool

  7. The ‘kill-a-watt’ is much cheaper (1/5th the cost) than this product you’re trying to hawk. It doesn’t have as many data points, and won’t do the calculations for you, but for $100 less, I think you could break out a calculator.

  8. See this is slightly striking, there is gap between what you are saying and what you are doing… Running 5+ servers a huge screen and checking your emails every 1 minute (and not replying). Maybe you could multiply your total page views by the total time of the videos * all session user times in IRC and work out your production’s total energy wastage globally?

  9. i usually unplug my computer when i am not at home so i save so money. the thing that waists the energy i those mac charger bricks because it is constantly sucking energy even wen it doesn’t need to.

  10. That Watts Up Pro is really cool. I might just try and get it so I can see I can lower my electricity.

  11. I got two monitors printer,scanner,disc drive,tower I switch it all off at the socket at night being in the bedroom i fancy all that electric power will have an effect on my body or brain it must put some energy in to the air. Am i getting paranoid.

  12. I sometimes do like to leave some stuff on overnight, it’s really a habit. Perhaps maybe I might reconsider to save energy. Looks like a great tool, Chris. I’m sure it’s come in handy several times. I mean, who knew a power reader could tell you so much!?

  13. Its really helpful to know this information do, I just got a 500+ bill, and i was not surprised, I myself and my family leave almost everything on, and never turn it off, Big things like, Desktops, Tvs, Draw alot of power. I myself order 2 of the Watts-up-pro and soon will be getting them.

    Thanks for the great review, helps alot, and im on my way to see what is making my bill so high.

  14. Everybody needs energy alright
    Check some of the many NIGHTWISH videos available (the ones featuring Tarja Turunen)

    If you are into classical music… check my posted videos bro

    Take care

  15. Chris, Thanks for the info. I have been wondering how much energy my computer is costing $ me. I will check out Thnaks for everything you do 😉

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