I have had a Kill-A-Watt Power Meter for a while now. It is definitely handy to have around to see how much power something uses. Most things are not too surprising, but I was shocked when I found out how much my DVR was using.
I live in Georgia where the local cable company is Charter. When my cable was installed in September, 2008, their DVR box was developed by Moxi. I have always had Comcast before, so the Charter Moxi DVR was a bit strange to me. I still don’t like it as much as Comcast’s, but I’ve learned to live with it. Of particular concern was that there is no way to turn it off. The remote has a power button that only turns the TV off, and the box itself has no power button either.
I dug out my Kill-A-Watt the other day and plugged it in to see how much power this thing uses. The DVR is essentially a small computer, so I was expecting it to use around 40-50 Watts, which is comparable to a small computer that I have. It turns out that the Moxi uses as much power as a full-fledged computer, coming in at 160 Watts. It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That is 3.84 KW/H per day or 115 KW/H per month.
At 7 Cents per KW/H, the DVR costs about $0.27/day, $8/month, or about $100/year to operate. I’m estimating that about 7-10% of my annual electricity usage is due just to this DVR.
I’m going to be calling Charter today to see if they offer a DVR that can actually be turned off. I won’t be terribly sad if they don’t have anything else available and I end up switching to Uverse, which I’ve been wanting to try out anyway.