By Christina Brown
The public library is one of the best places to find information and free entertainment.
But did you know it could also help you save on your utilities?
The libraries of the Arrowhead Public Library System have a wealth of books and magazines that can help you save energy in all areas of your home. From weatherizing your home to living off the grid, you’ll find plenty of ideas to save energy and money on utilities.
Our local libraries also have a a cool little gadget you can check out that can help you cut your electric bill.
The Kill-A-Watt is a simple device you can use to determine the electricity usage of items in your home. There are a lot of gadgets and appliances in our homes that use energy even when they’re not in use, and the Kill-A-Watt can help you identify which ones may be costing you the most money.
To use it, you simple plug an appliance or electronic item into the Kill-a-Watt and then plug the Kill-a-Watt into an electrical outlet. The Kill-a-Watt measures how much electricity the item uses. It’s best to let it measure the usage for at least a week or two, preferably longer.
Once you’ve figured out how much electricity you’re using, you can calculate how much it costs you to use based on your utility company’s current electric rates.
The Kill-A-Watt, which can be checked out from the front desk of your local library, comes with easy-to-follow instructions.
I used the Kill-A-Watt to find out what an energy sucker my 1980s chest freezer was. I estimated that the freezer was costing me about $10/month to run. I’ve since bought a new chest freezer that only costs me about $3 a month to run.
In addition, your local power company may offer rebates when you purchase energy-saving appliances. You may find that the monthly savings combined with the rebates make it a good idea to replace an aging appliance.
If replacing an energy-sucking appliance isn’t an option for you at the moment, you can determine whether it is something that can be unplugged when not being used or even invest in a Smart Strip power strip that shuts off electricity to gadgets when not in use.
The less electricity you use, the more money you keep in your wallet.
Read more frugal living tips and money-saving ideas at www.northerncheapskate.com.