This is a plug-in power meter. There are many different vendors and models available on the market We have chosen one of the most economic plug-in power meters… … but this device is more than sufficient for our power consumption measurements Most of the plug-in power meters are quite simple to use and… … most of the people could use one by just acquiring some basic knowledge The MODE button toggles between functions The UP button is used for some basic data entry And the small button in the middle is the RESET button… … used for setting to zero the power and money consumption The device comes with instructions… …but let’s have a quick look together to the most useful functions The voltage function (V) can be used for voltage presence check This function comes handy if we need to know if a socket has power or not This plug-in meter let’s us to setup the electricity prize per Kilowatt hour According to our electricity bills we are paying 0,26 euro per KWh so we just had to enter this value once The next useful function is the Wattage (W) reading, which is the amount of power used by the plugged in appliance If the plugged in appliance is using power, the power consumption is displayed on the screen The total consumption in KWh shows how much power has been consumed since the last RESET This value will return to zero every time after pressing the RESET button The total consumption in euros shows how much money has been consumed since the last RESET This value will return to zero every time after pressing the RESET button We are going to measure how much power is being used by a kettle to boil 1,5 liters of water For that, first we reset the power meter by pressing the RESET button So the consumption in KWh and Euro goes back to zero Take a look to the value displayed on the device screen Once the kettle starts heating up the water, we can see how much energy is consuming This kettle is using around 2650 Watts to heat the water We have used this plug in power meter to check the power consumption of many home devices and appliances: Dishwasher, washing machines, tumble dryer, printer, laptop, TV, router,… And one of the biggest breakthrough came while checking the dishwasher cycles… … power consumption. For three full years we have been using the ‘Auto’ program… … for every dishwasher load but after comparing the energy and money consumption costs… … we came to learn that the ‘Auto’ program was costing us around 0,25 euro per cycle… … while the Eco program which does basically the same but only costs 0,15 euro per cycle The only difference is that the ‘Auto’ program takes 1,5 hours for a full cycle while the Eco program takes well over 3 hours We have estimated that over three years we have been wasting around 25 euro every year… … on electricity costs while by using the Eco cycle… … we are now only paying around 36 euro per year on electricity costs Right now we are also checking the washing machine and tumble dryer… … power consumption per cycle to know if we are also wasting money What fooled us with the dishwasher was the time used by the programs. Without checking the actual power consumption we wrongly assumed that an Eco cycle … …, that takes well over three hours to complete, could not be more economic… … than an Auto cycle that takes only 1,5 hours per cycle. We wrongly assumed that the Auto function is a one-fits-all cycle and the best choice That assumption has costs us around 75 euro over the three years we have been using the Auto cycle The plug-in power meter has came really very handy ;D The kettle still hasn’t manage to boil the water but is working on it Right now, apart from checking the washing machines and tumble dryer… … power consumption per cycle, we have used the plug-in power meter… … to measure the laptop, computer monitor, desktop printer,… …. router, TV,… power consumption and we have learnt… … that we must be very careful with leaving some devices on stand-by mode… … specially the laptop, because even though they don’t draw much power… … while in stand-by mode, they still may be wasting electricity and money Some of our devices like the TV don’t draw power while in stand-by but other… … devices like the laptop or computer monitor draw enough power while in stand-by mode…. … to make the cost significant over long periods of time. We have become much more aware and cautious about our power consumption… … since we started using the plug-in meter… … because the first step towards preventing waste is to be aware of the source of the waste. Coming back to our kettle, it keeps working at a steady peace without power consumption peaks But it is getting there and once it has finished boiling the water… … you will notice how the power consumption (Watts -W) will drop to zero… … which means that the kettle is not drawing any power No power consumption (Watts – W) means no money consumption It has started shaking, it is about to finish Now it has finished and the power consumption is now Zero Watts (W) So how much has it cost us to boil 1,5 liters of water? Note that we are using a relatively new and efficient kettle! Well, our kettle has used 0,10 KWh of electricity and spent 2 cents. Let’s now have a quick look to the energy consumed by a mobile phone on stand-by mode Even if the mobile is fully charged, it is still drawing 2.5 Watts and will keep drawing this much power… … for as long as it is connected to power There may be many other electricity saving opportunities ready to be tapped. We just need to learn about them. If you want to know more..

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