After being asked rhetorically a couple of times if I knew now much I paid for my electricity, and whether I knew how much power my fridge was using ($0.13/kWh, and I don’t know) I bought a “Kill-A-Watt” power meter to see where our $18/month in electricity usage was going… just out of curiosity. It turns out that watching a movie costs abot $0.08 in electricity. The Cold Box (beer) uses about $3/month worth of power. The fridge itself, usually the largest power hog in a household, is close to half our usage at $8/month. Making a batch of coffee in the french press, using the electric kettle is about a penny. The other big electricity users are the stove and oven, and the washer and dryer (though we hardly use the dryer). They can’t be measured with this thing because they use 220V outlets, which are generally hidden away and inaccessible anyway.
After those miniscule numbers, I was amazed to discover that a day’s worth of computation (24 hours, including some research related number crunching by my laptop, my desk light, my backup disk, and my 30″ cinema display) came in at $0.50! So, at least for me personally, at roughly $15/month my computer is by far my largest expenditure of electricity. Interesting!
I’d love to build (and live in) a condo that tracked the water and power usage of each unit, and within each unit each outlet/faucet/etc, in real time, posted to the web, and displayed in the communal entryway. Visibility goes a long way to influencing behavior.