It's often said that you can't manage what you can't measure -- nowhere more true than with electric usage. So, soon you can borrow a Kill-a-Watts meter at the Salem Public Library! Image by INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero via Flickr
Very nice -- a LOVESalem informant tells me that the Salem Public Library has ordered a bunch of these to make them available to patrons for use in finding and fixing your power vampires! BZ.
These devices address one of the biggest failings in our infrastructure, the fact that all the metering is designed to make your usage INvisible (and, thus, encourage you to unknowingly use more and waste more). The pirates at the top of PGE ("Please God, Enough!") and the gas company have long had the ability to provide us with real-time usage data right in the home to help us conserve resources and reduce pollution -- but then, that would reduce profits, so they continue merrily hiding the meters back in the weeds and next to the wasp nests, so that you'll continue using more of their products. Another good argument for kicking their butts out and forming a public consolidated gas and electric utility for Salem, one that puts the public good ahead of shareholder profits.
Why care about reducing electric usage? Because, as the PGE-fuel-mix chart shows, PGE's largest source of electricity is coal. That's right, the coal that is destroying the world's climate balance and is going to cause unfathomable suffering across the globe for centuries. PGE talks green but walks black, and fights like crazy to keep on using coal because it's more profitable for them.
UPDATE: A LOVESalem foreign correspondent writes:
Don't forget to put in a plug (heh. Get it? "Plug." heh) for my Blue Line innovations power cost monitor. Srsly, thing is awesome.