My electric bill has slowly inched upward over the years, partially because of
rate increases and largely because I keep buying more cool gadgets. Besides,
I'm a computer addict and run my computer 24 hours a day. The latest bill was
$125.00 for 804 KWH of electricity, or about $0.16 a KWH.
Some of the bill is beyond my control, such as the water pump which is shared
with my tenant's place where they have four kids. Outdoor lighting is also a
necessity to help keep prowlers at bay. Obviously there is still room for
I have a kill-a-watt power meter I picked up a couple years ago for a project,
so decided that I'd look for ways to painlessly cut down my electric bill.
Looking around, the analog clock on the kitchen propane cook stove caught my
eye. The clock is too small to be of any use, and has never been set in the 20
years we've owned the stove. Plugging the stove into the kill-a-watt revealed 3
watts of electric was being consumed. A minute's worth of turning screws
revealed a small shaded pole motor labelled 120V 3W. AHA! Unplugging the wires
from the motor magically reduced the ongoing waste by the stove to zero. It
still needs power for its electronic ignition and hot surface ignitor for the
oven, but those are not continuous waste.
SWIMBO wanted to get going on our evening exercise walk, but I managed to
check power consumption for our doorbell first. The wall wart powering it was
an older transformer style and was eating three watts. A quick scrounge in a
box of junk yielded a modern switchmode wart of acceptable voltage and current.
The new wart only wastes about one watt of power, a savings of two more watts.
Nothing earthshaking so far, a total savings of about 5 watts; That savings
shaves $6.81 a year off my electric bill without any inconvenience whatsoever.
As time allows I'll be examining other devices around the house to see where I
can save more. Hopefully a few big ones jump out at me. I'd be interested to
hear other people's results at shaving their electric bills down.