Energy meters

You can check out some surprising things at your local library – especially if you’re in Hennepin County. According to the Twin Cities Daily Planet

Library users can reserve the hand-held power check energy meters online and pick them up at any Hennepin County library for a three-week check-out, thanks to a partnership between Hennepin County and Xcel Energy. (See Hennepin County Library Catalog – keyword Power Check) Xcel officials were looking for a way to get the meters into their customers’ hands, but didn’t have a system in place for checking them out, said James Catalano, market manager for the utility company.

“We’ve done some great partnerships with the libraries in the past to demonstrate energy efficiency options and they did a wonderful job with this,” he said.

The hand-held meters come with a five-foot electrical cord, a USB cable and instructions on how to use them. Users plug any household appliance into the meter, then plug the meter into a wall outlet. Two buttons and a digital display on the meter let users see how much energy their DVD player, lamp or other appliance is using while on or off, and how much that appliance is costing them per hour or per day.The USB cable allows users to plug the meter into their computer, and a free software download can allow them to add up and track their appliances’ energy use over time.

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