Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kill A Watt

I'm starting a new series called "Kill A Watt." You'll find my Kill A Watt articles by filtering with the KILLAWATT label located at the bottom of this posting.

My parents bought me a Kill A Watt device for Christmas. It's one of the best gifts I've ever gotten. If you're not familiar with the tool, the Kill A Watt is a proxy which you place in between an electrical gadget of your choice and the wall plug-in. Kill A Watt will tell you, among other things, how much electricity the gadget is using, or wasting if you're an environmentalist. You can get one for around $20 (or so).

This morning I plugged in the Kill A Watt to my toaster. It took .04 kilowatt hours (kwh) to toast one piece of bread, medium brown - just the way my son likes it. If I'm reading my electric bill correct, I pay .0725 cents per kwh. Thus it cost me .3 of a penny. Or in other words, it costs 1 penny to run the toaster three times. We probably run it once a day. Meaning we pay 10 cents to run our toaster every month.

I also recorded how long it took to charge my cell phone. It's a Sanyo Katana II flip phone. Oddly, after 2.5 hours of charging, the Kill A Watt read nothing. My guess it took somewhere between .001 and .009 kwh to charge the phone. The Kill A Watt reader only reads to the hundredth decimal.

For the record:
- 2.5 hours to charge my Sanya Katana II cell phone = .001 - .009 kwh
- 1.5 minutes to medium toast bread = .04 kwh or .3 of a penny.

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