Lesson 7: Watt's in a Name(plate)?


In this lesson, students determine how much electricity a particular device uses by reading electric name plates and using Kill A Watt meters that monitor electrical consumption. They discuss the cumulative effects of parasitic or phantom loads and strategies to minimize and/or eliminate them.

Key Ideas

Lesson Goals

Students will: 

Lesson Resources

Download the Lesson Plan (11 pages, 644 KB)

Student Handout 7.1: Kill A Watt Challenge
(1 page, 416 KB)

Student Handout 7.2: Nameplate Data
(1 page, 404 KB)

Student Handout 7.3: Kill A Watt Data
(1 page, 392 KB)

Student Handout 7.4: (Optional) Calculating Annual Energy Costs
(1 page, 512 KB)

Teacher Resource 7.1: Using a Kill A Watt Meter
(2 pages, 528 KB)

Video clip explaining how to use Kill A Watt Meter

Video clip showing how to read information from Kill A Watt Meter

Video: Vampire Energy

Operation Manual for P3 Kill A Watt Meter (P4400)

Online Extensions

Look up the typical wattages of various household devices and use this information to estimate their overall electricity use. This information can be used to determine whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance.

Examine this comprehensive list of stand-by power from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.

Find out more about Energy Star appliances.

Calculate your energy costs using this online electricity-saving calculator. Includes tips in several areas on how to save energy and reduce costs.

Investigate the connection between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Energy Star labels.  Why do you think the EPA is the "issuer" of Energy Star labels? 

Watch this short video to find out how you can help combat phantom or vampire energy using smart power strips. 

Connections to Maine Agencies

A Maine Energy Education Representative Program (MEEP) representative will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support the concepts in this lesson:  

For schools in Aroostook County, a Maine Public Service (MPS) representative will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support the concepts developed in this lesson.

Contact us: info@powersleuth.org