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How much electricity does my PC use?

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Elaine | 15:06 Sun 29th Jul 2007 | Technology
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My electric bills have gone up quite a bit, how can I work out how much electricity my PC and perhaps washing machine use? Elaine

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Hi Elaine

The simplest method would be for you to buy a plug-in electricity power monitor meter similar to the one shown here:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Electricity-Power-Energy -Monitor-Meter-KWH-Watt_W0QQitemZ120146036612Q QihZ002QQcategoryZ106260QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

There's lots of them for sale on ebay at reasonable prices but I've also seen them on sale in the larger DIY stores and Saturday/Sunday newdspaper supplements.

Once you program the meter with the cost per kWH of each unit of electricity, the meter will show you the cost of the appliance in real terms. You can watch you bill going up before your very eyes!

Make sure the model you buy calculates the cost of the electricity used from the cost per KWH you program into it, otherwise you'll have to take the total power consumption figure and work it out yourself using a calculator.
As a quick guide, most electrical items have a sticker or information panel on the back ( PC, washing machine TVs, cookers) saying how much power they use.
Most PCs have a 200 Watt power supply but generally use much less. All power ratings given are as if the unit is being used for 1 hour. Your electricity meter also shows how many Kw per hour you are using. If your meter is one of the older ones with a visible spinning disc in the window, note how fast it is going then get someone to switch on the kettle or cooker an watch it go!
So in the case of your PC taking an example amount of 200 Watts per hour it would take 5 hours to use one unit (1Kw hour) of electricity.
Your electric bill will show how much your supplier charges for each unit of electricity.
As a rough guide items which heat things up use the most electric. So cookers, immersion heaters, electric fires, fan heaters,kettles, electric showers etc all use lots of electric. If you need advice how to save energy try the energy saving trust.
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/

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