News & Updates


Kill-A-Watt – Part Deux

By: Jessi Chapin

Panama City, Fla:

Saving energy means saving money and it has residents flipping their off switches more often.

“I turn the lights off when I leave the rooms,” said Bay County resident Jean Haller.

“Just make sure that the house is energy efficient with energy saving light bulbs for example,” said John Flachsmamn, “just as energy efficient as possible.”

But many don’t know electronics still burn the bucks even after you turn them off. Gulf Power representative Jeff Rodgers says the costs can add up.

“An average household maybe have as much as 10 percent of their electricity bill from phantom power,” he said, “Imagine that multiplied throughout all the households in our area, what a savings we could have.”

News13 put those numbers to the test with a Kill-O-Watt meter, measuring the wattage of devices while turned off, to see how much they can cost per month:

• Computer- 1 watt = 30 cents/month
• TV- 3 watts = 90 cents/month
• Cell Phones = 30 cents/month

It has some second-guessing their routine.

“Oh, there’s a lot of things plugged in,” said Haller.

“TV, computer, laptop, etcetera,” Philip Carroll.

“Another big phantom load is the video games like the Wii or Xbox,” said Rodgers, “when they’re not being used they really do drain a lot of electricity.”

But, there are easy ways to save on phantom power without searching for plugs. Try to plug Tvs, Computers, or device chargers into a single power strip. Then turn that off before leaving the house.

“It will turn into a habit for your whole family,” said Rodgers, “If adults, parents, will lead the way the whole family will follow and become more energy efficient.”

Rodgers says the savings will not only reduce bills, but the power company’s overall expenses on generators, infrastructure, and expansion.

That’s going to be good for everybody,” said Rodgers, “good for the homeowner, the customer and good for Gulf Power.”

Gulf Power also has a way anyone can check their own at-home energy use, with a Home Energy Check. Other devices like geothermal heating and cooling, energy-star appliances, and smart thermostats can also help save energy.