Fight off the vampire power suckers with your own electricity meter

It's hard to figure out how to save energy in your home if you don't know how much you're using and where. That's why those who are serious about saving money or electricity are turning to electricity meters.

Formerly the province of serious electronics geeks with $1,200 to blow on a big, elaborate meter, pocket-sized electricity meters are now becoming popular with the masses.

Daniel Dern at ComputerWorld took a close look at some of the products out there, and recommends a "plug load meter" that measure the output of an individual appliance. It tracks the device over a period of time so you get high and low output numbers, then calculates how much energy it uses and how much money that costs over a typical month or year.