Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vampire Electricity--Part 2

I've been wondering about vampire electricity (electricity that is drawn by something when it's not in use), so I borrowed a Kill-a-Watt device to see for myself how much electricity is actually being used by various items around my house. In August I gave the device a try and reported on five random things. Since then, I have measured our DVR player usage which is supposed to one of the worst offenders. I have read that it uses more electricity than a refrigerator. So I also measured our refrigerator. Our DVR is part of the set top box for our cable TV service. Our fridge size is 14.4 cubic feet, was built in 2004 and doesn't have an ice maker--which means that it's not very big and fairly energy efficient. I've added the results for these two items to the ones I measured before. They are highlighted in blue on the chart below.

Item KWH/24 hours
Toaster with display
Outlet only
Lamp-off, plugged in
Coffee pot with display
Computer Monitor
 (As with last time, I used $0.12/KWH to figure costs.)

As you can see, the DVR player costs $2.80/month and the refrigerator costs $5.22/month to run. At least in my case, the DVR usage does not come close to the refrigerator usage as I had read. Both numbers are fairly low in the big scheme of things but large enough to see if we want to do anything differently with how we operate them. Upon first examination, we are pretty good with our refrigerator usage. We don't open the door much and rarely stand with it open for long. Also, we keep the freezer pretty full, so it can run more efficiently.

As far as the DVR goes, this is purely a luxury item, but it does provide a fair amount of entertainment for us. We record most of the shows that we watch so that we can view them essentially commercial free. This saves us both time and aggravation. However, we rarely record or watch anything during the night, so I think we'll try turning it off during that time.

Now, what to measure next? Maybe it will be our desk top CPU's. We'll see.


  1. Very interesting to see the different costs, our local library hires these out so now I can't wait to try it out. Adult son has heat lamps for lizards and snake so am curious to see what they are costing to run.
    Ruth - Western Australia

    1. Very interesting that your library hires those out. I'm going to suggest that to my local library.


What do you think?