Save Energy the Easy Way: Power Down When Not In Use

image courtesy of Adam Drewes

image courtesy of Adam Drewes

There’s an easy way to save energy with little or no effort or outlay: switch off power for lights and electronics when they’re not in use!

Residential lights, electronics and other small electrical devices account for approximately 27% of a typical home’s energy use in the US. If power to these devices is switched off when they’re not needed, the devices’ use of electricity can be reduced by up to 50%, lowering the monthly electric bill by around $25 for a typical home.<1>

Many electronic devices go into a standby mode when you turn them off. In this mode, they still use some electricity. You can save energy by completely shutting off the power to these devices when they’re not in use.

 

image courtesy of Ralph Hagen, Artist, www.CartoonStock.com

image courtesy of Ralph Hagen, Artist, www.CartoonStock.com

 

image courtesy of Energy Star

image courtesy of Energy Star

 

Think about using plug-in switches or timers at the wall outlets.

image courtesy of APC by Schneider Electric

image courtesy of APC by Schneider Electric

Description of desirable features courtesy of M and K, Dover, NH

description of desirable features courtesy of M and K, Dover, NH

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There are a few exceptions to the power-off strategy. Simple networking equipment like cable modems and wireless routers can be left on 24/7, since these devices are frequently needed and use relatively little power. You may also want to keep supplying power to some TVs or other devices that are unable to remember complex custom settings when their power is cut off.

 

image courtesy of Scientifics Direct, Inc

image courtesy of Scientifics Direct, Inc

With a Kill-A-Watt meter, you can measure kilowatt-hours of energy used by specific devices, and estimate their effect on the electric bill. One kilowatt-hour is equivalent to the amount of energy used by ten 100-watt light bulbs burning for one hour. The example image is
from Scientifics Direct, Inc.

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approximate calculation

approximate average

 

Infrared Occupancy Sensing Light Switch image courtesy of of furnitureme.biz

Infrared Occupancy Sensing Light Switch
image courtesy of of furnitureme.biz

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<1>”Where Does My Money Go?”, http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_where_money . Adding the percentages, 12% for lighting plus 4% for electronics plus 11% for other devices totals about 27%. Reducing these items’ use of electricity by 50% would reduce the overall energy bill by 50% of 27%, or about a 13.5% reduction. A 13.5% reduction to the approximately $2,200 annual energy bill for a typical US single family home results in a savings of about $297 per year, or an average of about $25 per month.
Categories: Small Changes

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