A great bargain

Published 8:08 pm Thursday, July 8, 2010

To the Editor:

Have you ever wondered what it cost to run your appliances? I have and decided to do something about it. I purchased a device called KILLAWATT. When you plug an electrical appliance into it, it displays watts, kilowatt-hours, and time, along with voltage, amperage, and frequency.

Armed with this weapon, I started stalking the appliances in my house. First I calculated the cost of a kilowatt using my May electric bill, since it isnt displayed on the bill. I divided my cost, $76.95 by the kilowatt-hours, 808, and came up with 9.52 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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My first candidate was the toaster. I found that two slices of toast used .04 kilowatts for a cost of .4 cents. The bread machine was next. A pound and a half loaf used .26 kilowatts for a cost of 2.5 cents. That is hardly enough to break the bank. My plasma TV will use .0528 kilowatt hours each day or .5 cents when off but plugged in. If I want to watch something, it costs 5 cents/hour. I have two refrigerators. The newer energy efficient one uses 1.51 kilowatt hours each day and costs 15 cents. The older one is used for storage and costs 14 cents/day. A cup of tea on the microwave uses .07 kilowatt hours and costs .0066 cents. My floor fan used 60 watts on low and 100 watts on high.

My desktop computer produces some interesting figures. Just sitting it uses 8.3 watts. If I turn it on and bring up the operating system it goes to 132 watts or 30 cents/day. If Im doing something, like browsing it averages 150 watts or 1.4 cents/hour. If it sits and the screensaver appears, it goes down to 100 watts. The best deal is standby, that only costs 47 watts or .44 cents/hour.

Turning the printer on adds 2 watts and the scanner on adds 7 watts. Printing takes 13 watts and costs .12 cents/hour. Scanning goes for 23 watts and adds .22 cents/hour.

The real energy hog is my dehumidifier. Running on high, it takes 7.03 watts, which is 67 cents/day. Running on medium it drops to 4.84 watts or 46 cents/day.

I normally turn the printer and scanner off when not being used. The computer is on from when I arise to bedtime. The TV stays plugged in as the convenience is worth the half cent it costs. Computer and TV get unplugged when we travel, or when an electrical storm threatens.

From the figures I have come up with, you can see that household electricity is one of the great bargains of modern life.

Joe Jackan