24 July 2012
As part of my quest to use less electricity I needed a good power monitor. There are a lot to choose from from complicated devices that accept memory cards for full logging to simple devices that only show current usage.
I decided on the Belkin energy cost meter because it is somewhere in between. It does not have full logging capabilities, but it does have an 'averaging mode' which is what I needed to measure the electricity usage of switching devices. (like your fridge for instance)
This monitor is very easy to use, just plug it into the wall socket and then plug the device you want to measure into it. The energy meter will instantly tell you the wattage being used by your device. Press on the Euro button to see the costs (per year or per month). For something like your fridge, which only switches on when necessary you just leave the energy meter plugged in for at least 45 minutes, it then goes into averaging mode to give you an idea of the costs/usage of the device.
Testing devices around the house is actually a great learning experience, I found that my television only uses about 1 watt when in standby mode, but that my mediabox uses a whopping 42 watts when in sleep mode! That is a cost of 80 euros per year for a device that is sleeping!!!
If you need a better insight into your energy use, the Belking Conserve energy cost meter is very useful. It is easy to use, has a nice long cable so you can still see the display when measuring hard to get at wall sockets and it measures wattage all the way down to half a watt.