Electricity Meter

The increasing popularity of electrical appliances combined with rising energy prices has many households facing steep increases in their power bills. It can be difficult trying to work out how much power each appliance is using and which ones should be used less often. An electricity meter is a small and inexpensive device which plugs into a wall socket and measures the total power used by all the appliances plugged into it. There are many different models available so choosing the right meter requires a good understanding of their features.

Generally, smaller appliances use less power than larger one but that is not always the case. Some appliances have a surprisingly large power requirement, such as plasma televisions. Other appliances use less power but operate for longer periods which results in higher power usage over the course of a year. Besides keeping a diary of their daily use, an electricity meter is the only way to accurately work out the cost of using each appliance.

Standby power is another source of power usage that is often ignored. Appliances use it to reduce startup time and allow them to be turned on by remote control, as well as running clocks and remembering settings. It may seem like a small amount but it all adds up to a significant part of the average household power bill every year. By using an electricity meter, the cost of keeping appliances in standby mode can be accurately measured.

An electricity meter can measure power consumption in kilo-watt hours and joules. These are the standard units use by the electricity companies to charge their customers for the power they use. To work out the actual cost of power used by the appliances, the total consumption for the billing period is multiplied by the cost of each unit of power. Most companies have peak and off-peak rates which apply at different times of the day. The peak rate is more expensive than the off-peak rate, because there is more demand for electricity during that period.

The typical electricity meter that plugs into a socket is about the same size as a charger or timer. It has a white plastic case with a socket, display and buttons on the front and a plug on the back. Some units also have a compartment for a backup battery so data is not lost during a power outage. The more expensive models have a chrome finish and a larger display for easier reading. They range in price from around thirty dollars for a basic meter to several hundred dollars for advanced meters. They use a small amount of power from the wall socket and cost almost nothing to run.

Additional features to look for when choosing an electricity meter include dual-rate support and overload detection. The ability to measure power usage during both peak and off-peak periods in important to get an accurate cost of power usage. Without this information, only an approximate cost can be calculated. Overload detection is a good feature to have if there are several appliances connected to the one socket. It shows when there has been too much power usage, so appliances can be removed one at a time until there is no more overloading.

Most people use electricity without much concern for its cost, but they tend to use much less when they are aware of it. Studies have shown that using an electricity meter reduces power usage by around ten percent. It is not necessary to purchase meters for all the wall sockets either. Just one meter can be used for the entire household, as it only takes a few weeks for the average daily cost to become apparent. After that time, the appliances which cost the most to run should be known and a decision can be made as to their future use.

This Electricity Meter Review is Written/Updated on Mar 17th, 2009 and filed under Home Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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