Monitoring Appliance Energy Use Can Save Money in Hot Weather

By: Jennifer Kliese Email
By: Jennifer Kliese Email

Energy choices you make at home can help protect the environment and reduce your bills. It can be hard to tell just what appliances drain the most energy, but with the help of a free device from Wisconsin Public Service, you can figure out exactly which item you could replace to save money.

It's called "Watts Up" and you can check it out at your local library.

"What the customer does is they just borrow it like a regular library book, one to two weeks depending on the library's policy," says Kelly Zagrzebski, from Wisconsin Public Service.

You plug Watts Up into an outlet, then plug your appliance into the device and it starts reading wattage right away.

"So you can figure out what it costs you per day per hour per month if you want to," says Terry Artis, electrical expert at ACE Hardware in Weston.

You can also buy a watt meter at your local hardware store. Workers say energy use varies between different brands of all types of appliances so it pays to do some research.

"Even in the same brand they have efficiency ratings if you want to spend money in the long run it's prob going to save you money," says Artis.

But the real question is how much are you paying to cool your home during this week's hot weather?

"There's a number of days in a row that people are going to have their central air on so that does really effect you after a while your bill," says Zagrzebski.

Running a fan for an hour costs just four cents at WPSC rates. Central air can cost 7 dollars a day, and a room air conditioner averages two dollars a day.

But you can save more if you don't wait to turn it on in very hot weather.

"If you turn it on early in the morning it'll cool the house down before it gets too hot and then it will cycle throughout the day," says Artis.

In hot weather, experts suggest people use the oven or dryer minimally to keep the house cool.

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