Electrical usage meter

My electric bills are killing me, and now I can finally figure out exactly why.

The Kill-A-Watt plugs into a wall outlet and will measure the actual electricity usage of any appliance. I’ve been wanting one of these things for years, to the point of seriously considering manufacturing one myself. I’m glad someone has finally done it for me. It looks like my computer costs me something like $216 a year to run. Trouble is, I have five of them. Something’s gotta go.

Street price for this device is about $30. I should save that much in the first month.

An additional idea that I thought of would be combining these units with that cheesy home-network technology that communicates via your home’s electrical system. (Or use WiFi) That way several wall units could communicate with a PC and give you a running total of your energy consumption. The system could automatically retrieve your electrical rates from the Internet and even give you a running total in dollars of what you’re spending.

-- Curt Nelson 12/27/05

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