The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

How to Avoid Electric Bill Shock

June 24, 2011

Electric bill shock will typically come to those who wait. Why wait when you already know that unpleasant surprises are waiting for you? You may want to review helpful devices that estimate electricity consumption in your home or business.

After all, how can you save energy if you don’t know how much power you’re using? If your answer is “It’s impossible,” you’re right. Yet, there are ways to eliminate this uncertainty. Some help already exists and more is on the way.

The PowerCost Monitor™

This high-tech, but amazingly simple device offers real world feedback to you about how much electricity your home is using. The device tells you in both dollars and kilowatts (KW) what is happening consumption-wise in your house or office.
Along with giving you the time and outside temperature, the device furnishes data on your peak electricity costs over 24 hours. At a modest cost (around $100), you can also decrease personal greenhouse gas emissions and lower your family’s demand for electricity. You can typically save from 5 to 20 percent per month according to Blue Line Innovations, the company selling the product.

The Kill A Watt® Device

To measure the electrical usage of a single appliance, you might consider the Kill A Watt® for around $25. When you plug in an appliance, this handy device will count your consumption by KW, just as your electric company does.

It also monitors the “quality” of your power by monitoring voltage, line frequency and power factor. Its clear LCD display will advise you when the time is near for that new stove, refrigerator, microwave oven, air conditioner, or other appliance.

Saving energy is made much easier. You will be able to calculate your electric expense by day, week, or month. A product of P3 International, this device tells you the efficiency (or lack thereof) of all appliances, including computers, at work in your home.

Your Electric Company

Already, in a few states, like California and Texas, utility companies have begun installing “smart meters” that monitor real-time energy consumption. Other electrical grid companies are offering more concise and detailed data regarding how they calculate your bill and are taking action to employ everyday conservation.

Numerous companies already offer online tools to help you learn how much appliances contribute to your monthly bills. You can also find other online software, like Microsoft Hohm, to learn about your energy efficiency and how your usage patterns compare with other friends and neighbors.

Saving energy is both an individual and community activity. Avoiding electric bill shock by learning how to control your personal energy usage helps both your community and our fragile environment.

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Categories: Helpful Checklist
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