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Kill A Watt


The Kill A Watt meter can be used to measure the efficiency of home appliances and the quality of your power by monitoring the voltage, line frequency, and power factor.  Using this tool you can calculate what your electrical expenses will be daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly!

Manufacturer: P3
Manual: Kill A Watt Manual
Suggested Grade Levels: 5th and above
Suggested Courses:  Environmental Science, Physics
Video Demonstration: Not available at this time


    1. Plug meter into outlet to apply power
    2. Plug device into the killowatt meter that you would like to check the efficiency of
    3. Press Volt Key for true RMS Voltage (Volts) display.
    4. Press Amp Key for true RMS output current (Amps) display.
    5. The Watt/VA Key is a toggle function key. Press the Watt/VA key once to display Watt meter, then press key to display VA meter. The LCD will display Watts as         the active power, where VA is the apparent Power. (VA=Vrms Arms)
    6. The HZ/PF is a toggle function key. Press the HZ/PF key once to display the frequency (Hertz), then press key to display the Power Factor. HZ is the
        Frequency of output Voltage, where PF is the Power Factor (PF=W/Vrms Arms).
    7. The KWH/Hour is a toggle function key. Press the KWH/Hour key once to show the cumulative energy consumption since power was applied to the unit. Then            press key to display the cumulative time since power was applied to the unit.
    8. Consumption will be displayed in Kilowatt-Hours (from 0.01 KWH to 9999 KWH). Time will initially be displayed as Hours:Minutes (from 00:00) and switch to                Hours (to 9999). Counters will recycle to zero when they reach their maximum. To reset, remove power from unit momentarily.


    1. Energy Monitoring: 1 week for all of projects in section, can be modified for shorter time frames.
Energy Definitions and Conversions: Student Guide p. 9
        - Electrical devices and their impacts: Teacher Guide p. 27 & 28, Student Student Guide p. 38 - 43
            -Three 45-min class periods plus homework
            -These activities will teach students how to read and understand the information on electrical appliances and machines to determine the amount of electricity                 consumed
        - Energy Guide Labels: Teacher Guide p. 29 - 32, Student Student Guide p. 44 & 45
            - One 45-min class period
            - This activity teaches students to read and compare the Energy Guide labels on most large appliances. It helps them develop an awareness of the life cycle                  cost analysis, efficiency and payback period.
        - Kill A Watt Investigations: Teacher Guide p. 33 & 34, Student Student Guide p. 46 - 49
             - Three 45-min class periods
             - These activities will teach the students how to use the Kill A Watt monitor to measure and monitor electrical power consumption of electrical machines and                   devices.   
          -Resources provided by        
            -Teachers Guide
            -Students Guide

    2. The Cost of Electricity Lesson Plan
        -Students will learn how to calculate the energy costs of common household appliances and look at ways to become more energy efficient.
        -Resources provided by Consumers Energy
            -Procedure and worksheets