Have you ever wanted to know how much it is costing you to run your TV, your computer, your refrigerator? Or how about your TV and computer when they are in “standby” mode? Now there is an easy way to measure how much electricity any plug-in device uses and how much it is costing you. The device is called the Kill A Watt, and it is super easy to use. The Newton Free Library owns several of them, and you can check one out just like you check out a book. They are on the first floor in the “Library of Things” area with the games, puzzles, and musical instruments.

The meter can be used on any device that plugs into a 115V outlet. You just unplug the device you want to measure, plug the Kill A Watt into the outlet, and plug the device into the Kill A Watt. Then the unit starts accumulating data. You can take a look at the number of kilowatt-hours used, and the device will also show you how much time has elapsed since you plugged it in. This allows you to project how many kilowatt-hours the device will use in a week, month, or year. And since we are billed by kilowatt-hours used, you can calculate how much it is costing you to use the device.

You may be surprised to find out how much your devices consume, even in standby mode. Once you know, you can start saving money by putting those devices on a switched power strip to turn them off when not being used.