Wall Street Journal on A Hunt For Energy Hogs

Jason Fry of the Wall Street Journal bought a Kill-a-Watt and went around his house, measuring where the power went and what his electricity bill was really made of. All the computer wall-warts and chargers cost, but didn't amount to much- "If I really want to save money, the gadgets to look at aren't computers and chargers, but things my grandparents had"- the killers were lighting and the electric dryer. "I estimate our lights cost us around $30 a month, nearly a third of that from a chandelier with eight bulbs...switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents could reduce our light bill from $30 to less than $10, and the CFLs should last a lot longer." He also concludes with: "After running my experiment, I feel confident pronouncing that gadgets don't deserve the real blame for our nation's mounting electric use. Rather, how about the fact that our houses are getting bigger and bigger: According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average size of a new home now tops 2,400 square feet, up from 1,645 square feet in 1975. The impulse to blame our gadgets for higher energy bills is a testament to our ambivalence of how they've transformed our lives -- an outlet, if you will, for the unease we sometimes feel at how thoroughly things have changed." ::Wall Street Journal

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