Patrons abuzz over library districts energy meters

first_imgWhen Megan Dugan first brought home an energy meter last month, she didn’t test every gadget in her house. She didn’t need to.“I tested like four or five things,” Dugan said. “And then I started unplugging everything.”Dugan used the meter to measure the energy usage — and cost — of mostly idle, plugged-in household items: her toaster, coffee maker, phone chargers and the like. Every one of them added to the electric bill just by remaining plugged in, even if not in use.What she found wasn’t exactly surprising, Dugan said. But it was enough to change the family’s behavior.“I thought, ‘When you’re not even using it, why would you leave it plugged in?’” Dugan said.The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District in November began allowing patrons to check out the meters — dubbed “Kill A Watt” readers — after they were donated by a local Wells Fargo call center. Dugan, a Vancouver resident and circulation services coordinator for the library district, received one to test out early on.The devices have been in high demand since. The library received 26 meters, but the waiting list to check one out topped 80 people earlier this month, Dugan said.The meters are available to patrons at all 13 libraries in the Fort Vancouver district, which stretches from Clark County to as far east as Goldendale. Wells Fargo donated the devices following a similar arrangement with Oregon’s Multnomah County Library system.last_img

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