Did you ever wonder how much energy a specific appliance in your home uses? What about your refrigerator, video games, dehumidifier, portable electric heaters or other electronic devices? Did you know that an old secondary fridge could be costing you as much as $175 a year in energy costs? With an Electricity Usage Meter (EUM), you can discover how much electricity your household appliances consume and which appliances continue to consume electricity even when turned off (phantom loads).
Now, through the combined efforts of ISU Extension and the Iowa Energy Center, you can measure the energy used by each of these appliances with an Electricity Usage Meter available for check-out from the Buchanan County Extension Office.
Simply plug the meter into any household outlet and plug your 120V appliance into the meter. The monitor will display how much electricity is being consumed, regardless of whether the appliance is turned on or off. This easy-to-use plug-in device automatically calculates voltage, amperage, wattage, run time and total kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed allowing you to identify which appliances are costing you the most to run and helping you save money. You can figure out your electrical expense by the day, week, month, or year.
The meter comes complete with operating instructions and methods to calculate the cost of energy consumed by the appliance once the kilowatt-hour measurement is obtained. County residents can borrow a meter free of charge for a one week time period. Simply stop by the Buchanan County Extension Office, 2600 Swan Lake Blvd., Suite A, Independence, and ask to check-out the meter for use in your home. At the present time the Extension Office only has one meter to lend out, so it is recommended that you call ahead at 319-334-7161 for the availability.