Energy Use Investigation 6.1:

Electric Metering

The purpose of this investigation is to see how your home electric meter responds to energy use in your home. Find the electric meter at home. The pointers on the dials move very slowly, but most meters have a disk that turns fast enough that you can easily see it spin. If your meter is the kind with a spinning disk, try these simple experiments.

hair dryer
Go through your home and turn off as many of the electrical appliances as you can. It is best to do this during daylight hours. Also, check with the other people at home to make sure you do not turn off the oven while the souffle is cooking or otherwise interfere with their use of electricity. It will probably be okay to unplug the refrigerator for a few minutes. Now check the meter.

• Is the disk turning more slowly?

• Did you make it stop? If not, can you think of appliances in your house that may still be using electricity?

Now you can plug in the refrigerator, reset all the clocks, make sure the pump in the fish tank is working again, and do whatever else is needed to get your household back in order. Another quick experiment may require a helper. Watch the electric meter while someone turns a light

• Can you see the meter speed up when the light goes on?

Try it with a higher wattage (more powerful) appliance such as a toaster, hair dryer