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Save money by monitoring home energy use | News

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Save money by monitoring home energy use
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas Energy Office (AEO), a division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, launched "Track and Save."

In today's economy everyone is looking to save money where they can. What if there was a way to tell which appliances in your home used the most energy and ultimately cost the most money? Now, there's way to do just that and it's as easy as checking out a library book.

The Arkansas Energy Office partnered with Central Arkansas Libraries to bring this program to residents. Now you can track and save your energy with a kilowatt meter. If you're a library member you can check it out and take it home to find out just how much energy you're saving or wasting around the house.

It's an ordinary meter that produces some pretty extraordinary results.

"It's a device that's readily available from the market. It's nothing new. They've been out there for quite some time," says Scott Hamilton, Director of the Arkansas Energy Office.

Hamilton is talking about the Kill A Watt EZ meter that measures the amount of energy an appliance uses.

"And they're just finding out 'Ok, this is what something costs.' So it's really just an awareness. It's a fun thing but it's a very real thing because you learn again that there's a cost to a lot of equipment that we have in our homes. And it's important that we use them in an efficient manner," Hamilton explains.

According the AEO, the average Arkansas household spends about $1,900 a year on utilities. 33% of that, or $627, is spent on appliances and lights alone.

"It gets it down to dollars and cents. So, I think pretty much anybody can relate to that. So when you see in real money an item is costing you, it should get you to act a little bit," Hamilton adds.

AEO partnered with the Central Arkansas Library System to make these meters available to the public for free.

"As a public library we are an information hub. We feel that partnering with the Arkansas Energy Office on the "Track and Save" program is [going to] be a great benefit to our patrons and provide them with good information about their homes," says Lee Ann Blackwell, a PR specialist with CALS.

Blackwell hopes this will encourage people to visit their libraries more often.

"It's an incentive to do that. Not only can you check out a meter, you can check out books about energy use and you also use some our databases to research the same topic," adds Blackwell.

You can check out the meter at any library for up to two weeks. If you're library isn't participating in the program yet, you can encourage them to get involved.

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