Miami-Dade libraries latest to offer home energy monitors


Miami, FL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 14, 2010 – The Miami-Dade Public Library System has become the latest to offer home energy monitors for check out by patrons alongside books or movies.

The Kill-A-Watt monitors have been supplied by Miami-Dade’s Office of Sustainability as part of the County’s Energy Efficiency Campaign. The 150 monitors will be circulated among the Library’s 48 branches, where they can be checked out for up to 14 days.

Users simply plug their appliances into the monitor, which in turn is plugged into the wall, and the monitor will show on an LCD screen how much power the appliance consumes and the cost of the power. Some also are able to display power quality information.

The idea of offering the Kill-A-Watt monitors for loan has proved popular with libraries across the nation, often in partnership with the local power utility. Early adopters included Boston Public Library and Georgia Public Library Services starting around mid-2009. More recent initiatives in 2010 have included Seattle Public Library, which is funded by Seattle City Light, and libraries in Santa Clara County, CA, which is supported among others by Pacific Gas & Electric.

At some libraries the monitors have proved a hit with patrons and for example at Seattle Public Library the initial stock of 50 was doubled to keep up with the demand. Currently there are 230 holds on the 99 monitors, according to the Library’s online catalog. However, in Santa Clara County their popularity appears to have tailed off, with only 3 holds on 93 monitors and less than half of them checked out.

The Kill-A-Watt monitors retail in the $20-30 range.