Compare your appliances with a plug-in power meter
Want to find out how much your energy-saving efforts are paying off? Plug-in power or appliance meters can show you the exact amount of electricity your electronics, appliances and other devices use. Once you know this information, you and your family can focus your energy-saving efforts on the things that use the most energy.
How it works:
Connect the meter to an outlet and then plug a device or appliance into the meter. The meter's screen will display how much electricity the device or appliance is using. Try it out on your TV, stereo, computer, and other electronics. Things to think about:
- Compare the electricity usage of different devices and appliances in your home and then set priorities. You'll want to address the biggest energy consumers first.
- Test electronics with a meter while they are off or idle. You may be surprised to see how much power they draw even when you're not using them. This process can help you identify devices you should turn off with a power bar or unplug completely when they're not in use.
What to look for: Many models are available on the market, both online and at home improvement stores. Some models can store energy data and connect to your computer to show usage analysis. NB Power also has an appliance meter lending program in collaboration with New Brunswick public libraries.
Calculate a device's annual cost:
- Automatically: If you just want a general idea, many meters can estimate this calculation for you. However, only you know exactly how often you use your devices. Your own calculation will probably be most accurate.
- Kilowatts (kW): How many kW does the device use? Plug it into your power meter to find the answer. If it displays watts instead, divide that number by 1,000 to convert to kW. You'll need to do another separate calculation if your device consumes different amounts of power while off or on standby.
- Hours: How many hours do you use the device per day? Remember, this includes hours that the device is in standby mode.
- Days: How many days do you use the device per year?
- Your electric rate: Should be in dollars per kilowatt-hour. Consult your latest bill or contact us for your current rate.
- Multiply: Multiply kilowatts, hours, days, and your electric rate. The result is the total annual operating cost for your device.