The typical American home has around 40 products constantly drawing power. Most of these devices use electricity even when they are turned off – called phantom or vampire energy – and this standby power adds up, consuming almost 10% of residential electricity use each year! Some of the recent gains we’ve made in energy efficiency, particularly with appliances like fridges and dishwashers, are negated because we have more and more electrical items, and we don’t unplug. TV’s use 4% of America’s home energy!
Look around your home and office and remember that if it glows, or has a big black box as part of its power cord, or sits in a charging station, it’s costing you money. Powering lights, fans and appliances that aren’t being used is a waste of money and fuel energy.
1) Be Conservative – Turn Things Off
Increase your vigilance at turning off unused electronic items wherever you find them: lights, ceiling fans, TV’s (on the box, not the remote control), radios, coffee machines, cell phone and laptop chargers, DVD players, audio systems, video game consoles, charging stations (when items are fully charged), and printers. Unplug cable boxes when you leave for extended periods.
2) Cluster and Use a Power Strip
Group similar electronic items together (like TV, audio and computer areas) and use power strips for one step shutdown.
3) Use Power Settings to Save Money
The best way to reduce waste is to unplug at the wall, but make sure you have enabled the correct power conservation settings on your computer, video games, and other electronics.
Did You Know?
- Only 15% of computers in home offices use the power management settings
- Disabling quick-start on your Blu-ray player takes you from a standby mode of 5 watts to 0.5, a 90% improvement on energy use.
- Reduce standby power needs on your Wii from 8 watts to 1 watt by turning off WiiConnect24 and Standby Connection options
- Digital video recorders (DVRs), cable, and other pay-TV boxes waste $2 billion dollars of electricity a year because they are not capable of powering down when not in use.