Lights Off, Power down Your Bill

March 4, 2009 1:09:52 AM PST
People are doing everything they can right now to cut down on costs, including electric bills. Energy monitors claim to measure how much energy your electronic devices and appliances are using. Now there are energy monitors that can help you determine how much electricity your devices and appliances are using. Consumer Reports just tested two - the 25-dollar kill a watt and the 96-dollar watts up. You plug any 120-volt appliance into the meter, like a space heater, microwave, or TV. Then a screen shows you how many watts the appliance is using.

To test for accuracy, Consumer Reports tracked two energy-guzzlers - a computer and a refrigerator. Then testers compared the results to this calibrated watt-meter. Turns out both devices were accurate.

However, Consumer Reports says you don't need an energy monitor to cut your electric bill.

Target electronic equipment like your TV or computer that use electricity even when not on. Plug your equipment into a power strip. Then you have only one switch to turn off.

And Consumer Reports says don't forget to unplug power cords when not in use, like the ones you use for your cell phones.

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