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Kill-A-Watt Meter Check Out Program

1. Kill-A-Watt Meter Program

In order to help you save money and lower your greenhouse gas emissions, BEC is starting a Kill-a-Watt Meter Check Out Program!

Kill-a-watt meters are available for checkout at the BEC office for two week intervals. Along with the device, you will be provided a useful table to calculate energy costs for all of your appliances.  To check out a kill-a-watt meter, come to the BEC office, located at 116 W. 2nd St. Suite 3, Chico CA. This program is free. 

According to the Consumer Electronics Association the average American household owns 45 appliances.  These appliances include: electric toothbrushes, hair dryers, deep fryers, televisions, stereos, game consoles, computers, printers, phone chargers, fans, digital clocks etc. Many appliances continue to draw energy just by being plugged in-They do need even need to be in use. This wasted energy is referred to as "vampire load" and contributes to both pollution and higher utility bills.  

•  Nearly 21% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to electricity generation.  Reducing our overall energy use will lower utility bills, and help California meet a huge goal to cut emissions in half by the year 2020.

2. What Is A Kill-A-Watt Meter and How Does It Help Me?

A kill-a-watt meter is a device used to monitor your energy usage. It is simple to set up, as you only need to plug it into an outlet and plug an appliance into the kill-a-watt meter. The kill-a-watt meter measures consumption in kilowatt hours. Using the output of the kill-a-watt meter you may calculate how much it costs you to keep your appliances plugged in. 
This will help you to observe which appliances are energy efficient and which appliances you may want to limit your use of or upgrade.

3. Solutions To Energy Wasting Appliances

There are many ways to deal with energy wasting appliances. One remedy for energy wasting appliances is simply the recycling of old appliances and replacement of these appliances with less wasteful appliances.  The US EPA’s website ( has information about available rebates and energy efficient appliances to purchase.  Another way to combat wasted energy is to unplug the devices that are using energy when not in use, or to plug them into power strips. Power strips will keep vampire loads from using energy when not in use. Turning off the power strip cuts all power to the appliances.  Another resource for information is Energy Upgrade California.  Their website ( offers tips on energy conservation and can assist you in finding ways to save money by saving energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy-Saver website ( lists the average wattage of some appliances and ways to calculate the annual energy consumption and costs.
The information you gather concerning the cost and energy use of your appliances will help to determine which appliances in your home are energy inefficient and may need to be replaced. This will also help you to make better decisions to save energy and money. For example, instead of using your computer to browse the web recreationally, you could use your phone. Instead of watching television for an hour, you could read a book; and rather than using a hair-dryer after the shower, you could let your hair dry naturally.

Click here to download a table to help you calculate the cost of your appliances! The first row is filled out as an example of how to properly calculate the cost of your appliances using the information you will collect.