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Thursday, March 31, 2011

High Electricity Bill? It's Probably due to your Gadgets!

Recently, the United States Energy Information Administration conducted a survey of American homes to find out  how and where Americans use their energy, comparing energy use to data from 1978. Unsurprisingly, the amount of energy used by personal electronics (computers, phones, video games, televisions) has jumped, but what IS surprising is that space heating energy use has dropped by 39%, and that Energy consumption by electronics  DOUBLED!
Article Source: Fast Company

Now, when you read the news, you often hear about high oil prices straining home energy budgets, but the real problem we should be worrying about is how much energy is being converted into electricity for our gadgets, devices, and appliances. Many people still aren't aware that phone chargers, computers, televisions, and appliances suck up power constantly as long as they're plugged in, often drawing more power per day when idling then when being used! Luckily, there are successful awareness campaigns going on educating people on the high cost of appliances in our homes, but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. Not enough people are unplugging their devices at night, powering down their computers, or running their refrigerators at 39 degrees, instead of 33. I think we should all take an hour or two out of our hectic lives to go through our homes, surveying where electricity is being sucked up, especially when our electronics aren't being used. If you are done playing xbox, unplug the power brick, and if you're done checking our e-mail at night, shut down your computer and unplug the cord. Its that simple. Not to mention, it could help pay for higher energy prices, which are certainly in our future.

20 comments:

Pentele said...

It's no surprise to be honest : p

Punky said...

Not really surprised. I never turn on the heater in the house but my laptop, PC, all my portable games, my phone, the TV and such are always plugged in. that and my laptop doubles as a space heater :P

Mu said...

Nice post. My dad was actually bringing up this point to me the other day in convo. We were talkin about how it used to be no big deal to run computer all the time, but now with 600watt power supplys being the norm for a gamer computer...

power is adding up quick.

Throw in some air purifiers which are power hogs and voila, high bill.

SOMS said...

we lose a lot of energy by not being innovative enough

Cosmo 'The Ass-man' Kramer said...

I'm not surprised, we have too many new things we need to keep powered up constantly

POP! said...

People actually shut down their computers? Crazy...

ds said...

It's so true. There are so many little things sucking up juice that when added up it's much more than you'd imagine.

ironchefman said...

I try to limit my computer time at home to an hour or so per day, it's both energy and productivity efficient!

Kingmush said...

I actually did not know that things plugged in still used electricity when not being used. D: Feel really stupid as it seems so obvious now.

benchmark said...

I read somewhere that cell phone chargers use up a ton of power even when your device isn't plugged in.

Ano said...

thanks for sharing! great post.

ColdFyre said...

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/charger/ <-- An experiment to see how much draw chargers really use when not in use but still plugged in. Unplugging your Xbox means every time you want to play you're going to have to go into the system settings and fix the date/time. Yes, some things can be unplugged, pretty much anything that doesn't use the idle power to save stuff in temporary memory.

JuX said...

It makes sense. But i dont think i will give them all up just for a little drop in my power bill.

JUju said...

yeah thats why i started unplugging stuff

Green Bus said...

"Appliances suck up power constantly as long as they're plugged in, often drawing more power per day when idling then when being used".

A LCD PC monitor consumes 1W on idle. When turned on it uses 40W.

My GPS uses 0,5W when it has battery charged and plugged on the PC idling. But it goes up to 2W when it's charging and on iddle, and 5W when it's charging and being used.

I don't think your statement makes much sense. I may have misunderstood what you really meant, though.

Tasos said...

ecology started to get into me this year seriously. I'm saving more water, I started walking more etc. but the only thing I can't control in shutting my computer. anything but I can't do that!

Megan Hansen said...

it pays to unplug stuff you aren't using. thanks for the numbers; i never knew how bad it was before.

EmoGoth said...

That makes sense, but I'm surprised it reduced heating bills by 39%.

Tetanized Music said...

Yeah, this is actually not that surprising

TheMonopolyGuy said...

Inspector gadget must be pretty pissed by now

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