Maybe you're wondering how much energy your computer screen is consuming while you're reading this blog. Perhaps you suspect your TiVo, or the old refrigerator, is to blame for the electricity bill. If you’re looking to lighten your kilowatt load, one of the devices out there to track household usage is the Kill-A-Watt.
You can plug in anything to the Kill-A-Watt and it will monitor the consumption in, you guessed it, kilowatt hours. It allows you to see which devices (cell phone? plasma TV? air conditioner?) are really sucking power so that you can make informed decisions about cutting back or replacing old appliances.
Just hold on a minute, you say. Who has time to sit around and watch kilowatts add up? Well, no problem. The folks over at Make Magazine have constructed a way to make the Kill-A-Watt twitter.
Twitter, if you’re not familiar, is like blogging in haiku. People with twitter accounts post updates that are 140 characters or less that other people can read. At Make, they rigged a Kill-A-Watt to do the tweeting for them, getting constant updates on kilowatt usage that can be accessed on twitter via any computer or smart phone.
If do-it-yourself isn't for you, try a professional energy audit, which many local utility companies offer at low or no cost, according to Audubon’s green guru. Many energy audits will account for more than just appliances, and will find other sources of lost energy, such as drafty windows.
So go ahead and spy on your own home, you might just save some money, and some energy too.