Library to help citizens monitor home power use

  • Jun. 1, 2011 3:20 p.m.

Red Deer Public Library is soon going to be offering a means to bolster awareness about energy usage.

Folks will be able to find out how much energy and money is wasted at home and be more environmentally conscious by using a Kill-a-Watt device. Members can sign out a palm-sized electricity usage monitors which are now available for loan.

RDPL recently received six ‘Kill-a-Watts’ from the City of Red Deer’s Electric Light and Power Department.

Residents can plug the Kill-a-Watt into a socket and key in the electricity rate. (This appears on electricity bills). Then an appliance or machine can be plugged into the Kill-a-Watt to find out how much electricity it uses and how much it costs to run.

“I began with my lap top computer,” said Glynis Wilson Boultbee, the Library’s community development consultant. “Although I did know this already, the Kill-a-Watt made it very clear that even if I turn my lap top off, I’m still using a little electricity.

“I also could see the energy consumption (and cost) when it’s ‘on’, in ‘sleep’ mode or

in ‘hibernate’ mode. Since then, my husband and I have been more careful to put

our laptops ‘to bed’ or ‘in the cave’ during short absences. And we turn them off and

unplug them for longer periods. I figure between our two laptops, these energy-saving

practices could save us up to $20 a year.”

She also said she was astonished to learn how much electricity other home office equipment uses.

“My printer can be a real energy guzzler. What’s more, my computer is a sensitive and reluctant sleeper. Every time I download a new version of something, the settings seem to get bumped and it doesn’t want to go to sleep any more.

“I haven’t been as quick to deal with that as I could be, but I’m going to work harder at solving this issue now. After experimenting with a variety of options, I figured out how I could save electricity – and about $40 a year.”

A lunchbag seminar is set for June 3 on microgeneration – basic concepts on connecting residential solar generation to the utility.

Garfield Lee, the City’s senior distribution engineer, will be giving a presentation on the basics of utility power distribution, the common micro-generation methods, the technical challenges in combining these and the regulatory process presently in place for connecting micro-generation.

For more information, check out the Library’s ‘Rediscover Green’ web site (


Just Posted

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Last Christmas for Ten Thousand Villages in Red Deer

The fair trade organization will be closing its doors in the New Year

Olympic sportscaster Brian Williams says IOC too lenient on Russians

Williams was in Red Deer for a speech for Farm Credit Canada

A 37-year-old Red Deer man arrested for impaired driving

Man sustained serious injuries in two-vehicle collision

Red Deer RCMP investigate Oriole Park home invasion

RCMP believe it was a targeted home invasion, targeting wrong residence

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

Most Read