The Latest Public Library Loan? Electricity Meters By David Rapp [From the Library Journal]
Spurred by concerns about conservation and cost, public utilities across the country have begun to partner with libraries, enabling loans of portable Kill A Watt electricity meters, which can be used to gauge home power usage.
Once home, a patron plugs the meter into the wall, plugs an appliance into the meter, and enters electricity rate information. The meter then shows how much power the appliance uses and how much that power costs.
Broad interest nationally
Such initiatives have been underway in several library systems over the past year or so, including the Boston Public Library (BPL) (announced in June 2009), where the initiative is a partnership with the city and the power company, and the SPL (announced in May 2010), a partnership with the local power company.
A program instituted by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) in Atlanta began in August 2009, funded with a one-time grant through a state agency, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (now called the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority). “Ours was definitely not the first,” GPLS Communications Director David Baker told LJ, adding that at the time there had already been smaller programs in Illinois, Maine, and New Hampshire.