Monitor Your Energy Consumption

My wife and I were recently going over our monthly bills trying to figure out how we could save a little money. When our electricity bill came to the chopping block, the chest freezer in our garage became the subject du jour. It was almost 15 years old, and I didn't remember it being a really expensive model to begin with. I suggested that we consider getting rid of it, but my wife insisted that the money we saved every month buying sale items in bulk more than made up for our energy consumption. I wasn't convinced, but I didn't want to get rid of the freezer on just a hunch.

Energy consumption monitor
An energy consumption monitor can help you figure out the cost of running any household electrical appliance.


I decided to get my hands on an energy consumption monitor. After a quick search online, I discovered that our local power company had supplied a bunch of monitors to our local library system. I was thrilled to learn I could check one out instead of buying one. However, they did make me pay my book fines.


We figured the freezer was saving us about $20 every month on groceries, and we discovered its energy consumption was only costing us about $6 per month to run. So the good news was that the freezer stayed; the bad news was that I was wrong...again. We did look into a more efficient freezer, but a $500 purchase wasn't justified by a $3 monthly savings. We'll wait until this one conks out to get a new one.


If your library doesn't have a similar program, you can buy a simple electricity consumption monitor online for about $20.


— Mark Petersen, Contributing Editor

Energy Saving Tips

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