Find out how much electricity you use with iPad app Verde
Free until Earth Day, Verde calculates your home's total electrical usage and offers tips on how to reduce your footprint.
Concerned about the Earth or just your electric bill? Verde is an iPad app that has you tally up the electrical appliances in your home, from your refrigerator and HDTV to iPods and lightbulbs. The app costs $4.99 but is being offered for free until Earth Day, April 22.
Launch the app, select your climate zone, and then Verde will either estimate your electricity rate or let you enter your own per kilowatt hour (kWh) figure, which you can find on your electric bill. After settling on a kWh number, you'll then want to walk through your home with iPad in tow, taking inventory of the various items that draw electricity. Verde breaks it down into seven categories: Lighting, Heating, Air Conditioning, Computers & TV, Kitchen Appliances, Other Electronics, Electric Vehicles.
For each category, tap the "+" button in the upper-right corner to add an item. You'll see a list of common choices for each category, and you can add custom items as well. For each item you add, Verde provides average figures for wattage, hours used a day, and days used per year. Each of these three numbers can be changed.
After going through all the categories and completing an inventory of your home, tap the Finalize Report button. The report provides the total kWh hour usage and cost for each category next to the energy and cost savings should you replace the electrical items in your home with green (read: Energy Star) products. It also lists the top five ways you can reduce your footprint and electric bill. In my case, it simply told me to replace some light bulbs and appliances with Energy Star models. While the conclusion you receive isn't likely to be earth-shattering news, it is helpful to see how much electricity various items in your home use. This way, if you do plan to add some Energy Star products to your home over time, Verde can help you prioritize.
No app is complete without a few sharing options. Thus, let me report that Verde lets you e-mail your final report or share via Facebook and Twitter.