Living on solar needs not only efficient power generation, but also efficient usage. You should preferably using appliances that can run directly on DC power thus avoiding loss of power in DC-to-AC conversion. Also, energy-efficient products can significantly reduce the power consumption. If you want to meter the usage of power by an appliance, you can purchase this tiny, but very useful gadget. You can also use it to calculate the total electricity consumed by the whole house.
P3 International P4400 Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
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You can cut down on costs and find out what appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in. Simply connect these appliances to the Kill-A-Watt, and it will assess how efficient they really are. The large LCD display counts consumption by the kilowatt-hour, the same as your local utility. You can calculate your electrical expenses by the day, week, month, even an entire year. Also check the quality of your power by monitoring voltage, line frequency, and power factor. Now you will know if it is time for a new refrigerator or if that old air conditioner is still saving you money. Kill A Watt can help you reduce your power bill and will help find power-wasting appliances so you are able to decide whether it is worth keeping them plugged in. For standard 115 VAC appliances only, 15 amps maximum, 125 VAC maximum.
P3 Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor Review on YouTube