Sunday, July 30, 2006

Are Your Electronics Robbing You?

Did you know that when you turn off most of your electronic devices (such as your TV, computer, A/V hardware, etc...) their still drawing power, and could be costing you a lot of money in wasted electricity? When most electronics are turned off, they go into a 'low-power' or 'standby' state instead of going all the way off. Sometimes in this low power state they can consume as much as a quarter to half the electricity they would draw as if they were on.

Another big waster of electricity is the power adapters (AKA transformers) on all of our other electronic devices we have sitting around the house and office, like: cordless phones, answering machines, etc. These power adapters will still draw power even when the device is not being used.

With the skyrocketing cost of energy, we need electronics that go to the next level and shut off completely instead of going into a low-power state. Its been said that the standby states consumes about eight percent of all domestic electricity.

Recently the UK government outlawed standby switches on electronics, and requires energy efficiency be built into new devices. The technology required to make our electronics more energy efficient would not be hard for manufactures to implement into new product, but they have no incentive to do it. Until governments, and consumers push the electronic manufactures, we will not see a change in the status quo.

Saving Energy:
Besides the obvious stuff you do to save energy, like: buying more efficient appliances and electronics, turning off devices that you're not using, etc. Here are some more suggestions:
  • Plug your computer, monitor, and other peripherals (such as: printers, scanners, etc.) into a power strip. After you turn off all your electronics, turn off the power strip.
    • BITS makes a power strip that automatically cuts power to all your computer accessories when you turn your computer off.
  • Unplug power adapters that are not being used, or a better solution is to plug these devices into a power strip and turn it off when they're not in use.
  • If you use your computer and monitor sporadically throughout the day, activate the low-power states to save energy. This especially important if your computer is left on 24 hours a day.
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