Is anyone aware of a device that you plug into a wall socket and then
plug your appliance into that and it measures the "cost" of running the
I would imagine this as a relatively simple and very useful device, and
therefore likely to be in existence, but I just haven't seen one for
No probs mate. You might want to google the product name to see if
anyone sells it for less - smarthome tends to markup quite a bit. I
usually use them as a catalog to see if something even exists, and then
go find it elsewhere (ebay, mfr, etc) to actually buy it.
For anyone interested in this device, I found it for $27.50 (some
places sell if for $40) at:
I have previously used this store for CD & DVD media, but have gotten
very good service from them in that area.
In fact, the Kill-A-Watt will accumulate kWh over time, so you can
leave it plugged in for a while and the figure the average usage per
day or week.
My big complaints are that it doesn't store peak usage (which would be
useful for planning emergency backup power) and the kWh total can't be
reset without killing power to the appliance. It's also darn hard to
read from a distance or an angle and it blocks both plugs in a duplex
outlet, but putting it on an extension cord solves those.
Instead of using electronics for the measurement,
why not use a regular kWh meter. All you need is
the meter, meter base, a board to mount it on, a
cord and a box with outlets. Plug into the wall
and plug the appliance into it. You can get
watt-hour meters off the internet. I use one all
the time to measure power consumption of various
I have one on the way off eB ay , slightly under $30 delivered
Amazon had em just under 30 shipped free too.
There's a better one that apparently stores data and plugs into a computer
serial port for interesting detail, can be had under $50 at auction... wish
I had one to tinker with, but thirty bucks is a lot for tinkering when I can
guestimate for free.
Nifty idea. The biggest energy users are probably the most difficult to
figure though. If you plug in a refrigerator, you get a reading while it
runs, but no way of telling how long it will run on a given day. Or how
often an AC compressor will cycle, etc.
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