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13,000 check outs to date: free meter program expands by popular demand
DENVER – Xcel Energy and its various library partners announced today the expansion of a popular program that allows patrons to check out free Power Check energy meters. Consumers can plug them into home appliances to learn how much energy they’re using.
Xcel Energy launched the program in 2010 in several states. To date, the meters have been checked out more than 13,000 times in 61 participating libraries in Minnesota, Colorado, North Dakota, Wisconsin and New Mexico. The expansion welcomes 29 new libraries to the program this year, including systems in Michigan, South Dakota and Texas.
The devices work on any standard 120-volt electric appliance and are easy to use. One end plugs into the wall and the other into the appliance. They record electrical usage in watts, capture surge readings, and display the cost of energy use in dollars. The meters can also be plugged into home computers to graph energy use and determine what changes can be made to save the most energy.
Users are encouraged to view this instructional video: http://youtu.be/UcJ9G-GiCuk.
“This is a great tool to help people manage their home energy costs,” said Chris Dierker, Xcel Energy market manager. “You can determine the exact operating cost of appliances like refrigerators, room air conditioners or computers and then predict your savings by reducing energy use.”
An additional benefit to the meters is determining the cost savings for replacing older equipment with energy-efficiency models. In some cases the cost of a new appliance pays for itself in energy savings over time.
“It doesn’t take significant behavior changes to make a difference in home energy use and costs,” said Dierker. “People can save as much as 5 to 10 Read More ...