U-M Planet Blue
Sustainable Computing

Measure Your Impact

Kill A Watt®

A Kill A Watt® is a simple power measurement device you can use to see exactly how much power your gadgets are consuming. Just plug the Kill A Watt® into your wall socket or a power strip, plug the gadget into the Kill A Watt® and measure away. You can see how much is being consumed at any point in time, or collect data over time. Afterwards, you can implement your power-saving strategy and measure what you've saved.

Check Out a Kill A Watt®

How do you know if the steps you're taking to save power when computing are making a difference? You can figure it out in just a few steps with this easy and fun experiment.

  1. Check out a Kill A Watt® from the U-M Library and use it to measure how much energy your computer consumes as you use it normally.
  2. Adjust the power management settings on your computer to a more energy-efficient setting.
  3. Using the Kill A Watt® again, measure how much energy your computer consumes over the same period of time using the more efficient settings.
  4. Finally, use the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies calculator to calculate your before and after impact on the planet!

Kill A Watts® are available for purchase—just search for "Kill A Watt" on the web. Even better, you can check one out from the U-M Library, just like you would a book. Kill A Watts® are available at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library.

Configure Your Power Management Settings

Once you have calculated your impact using the device, configure the recommended power-management settings on your computer.

U-M Best Practice

  • If your office computer is managed by your unit's IT department, check with them to make sure they are pushing power management settings to your unit's computers.