Some public library systems are now offering free checkout of digital power meters for your home energy information use. Henrico County, VA for example is offering Kill-a-Watt meters for checkout, along with educational sessions about home energy savings and how to interpret your power bill. The Kill-a-Watt is the same meter that we used to measure the appliance and equipment power usage around the office. Check the library systems in your area for similar opportunities.
For Henrico residents, find more information here: http://www.henricolibrary.org/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=36439.
Last fall, we did an audit of Richmond office equipment and found that the drink machines were using the most energy by far, being very poorly insulated and running around the clock to keep the drinks cold. See that post here. We reached out to our vending contractor, and they installed “Vending Misers” on our two drink machines for free.
Basically they sense activity around the machines, and use fuzzy logic to establish usage patterns. During periods established as low usage, the refrigeration compressors scale back, but do not cut off entirely. We have measured the energy usage again since our Misers have been installed for a few months now, and the energy use was reduced by 40%! This is predicted to save about $100 per year, per machine. The updated findings are charted below (click on the image to enlarge).
Thanks, Vending Miser!