05/31 2013

Oakland now has its own Belkin Meter to test “phantom” power usage

Oakland now has its own Belkin Meter!

What is a Belkin Conserve Energy Use Monitor (Belkin Meter for short)?
It will help you to understand how much energy your electronic devices ruse—including, the cost of operation, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced in generating the electricity consumed, and watts.

How does it work?
A Belkin Meter is a small device that you can plug into any household outlet and then plug in any electronic device into. Within minutes you will have a reading on how much CO2 the electronic device uses and how much money that usage adds to your electric bill (there are settings for both monthly and year calculations).

Why should you use it?
We should all be mindful of what we have plugged in, for how long and if it really needs to be plugged in for that long. Not only does wasted energy waste your money, but it also puts unnecessary CO2 into the atmosphere thereby contributing to poor air quality, hurting or health as well as the health of others (including plants and animals). Pittsburgh has the 8th worst air quality in the nation; if we all start making small changes in our energy efficiency you will not only have a happy wallet but a healthy environment too! Healthy environment = Healthy communities!

Where can I get a Belkin Meter?
You are in luck – Oakland has a Belkin Meter Sharing Program! It lives at OPDC; if you interested in borrowing it please contact Tara Sherry-Torres at tarat@opdc.org or 412-621-7863.

After I have this information, then what?
Oakland is one of 16 communities in Allegheny County which is participating in a program called ReEnergizePGH. ReEnergizePGH aims to educate people on reducing energy consumption in their homes through both simple and high level changes. Tara Sherry-Torres from OPDC is your Energy Ambassador through this program and can talk to you about simple ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Please check out ReEnergizePGH’s website for more information, http://www.reenergizepgh.org/.

The meter is available to be borrowed by Oakland residents for one week at a time, it’s on a first come first serve basis (but you can sign up for your week ahead of time). All borrowers must have an Oakland address to be able to participate in the sharing program.

Looking forward to loaning this out!

Take care,