The Chandler Public Library has Kill-a-Watt devices you can check out just like a book. These are provided by SRP. I believe they are available at some of the other libraries as well. SRP’s Info on Borrowing a Kill-a-Watt. It is great to be able to borrow one of these for free because it doesn’t really need to be used on an on-going basis.
What you do is plug the device into the wall and then plug your electronic device into it. It will then determine how much energy is being used by that electronic device. Some devices use electricity even when they are turned off. They are sometimes referred to as energy vampires. You can save money on electricity by determining which devices you should unplug when not in use. An alternative can be to plug the devices into a power strip that can be turned on and off.
I’ve read that cell phone charges can be a problem with using electricity even when a cell phone is not plugged in to them. I checked ours and they are not a problem. I have unplugged an older TV and a CD player that are rarely used. They were both pulling electricity even when off. Our Wii which is frequently left on even when not in use was pulling power as well. I tried turning it off and it was still using power. So, I’m going to try to turn it off and unplug it when not in use.
There were a few things that I going to leave plugged in. The first is our water cooler. It used the most electricity of the small electronics/appliances. However, it costs about 14 cents per day in electricity and we go through a lot of water. Our phones also use electricity but I’m going to leave them plugged in. It is convenient to have them in several rooms of the house and the usage is small.