A report published this summer by the National Resources Defense Council found that the electricity powering household computers, small networks and accessories is costing a lot more energy than most people realize.
With 88 million homes running broadband on their computers, they consume 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. “All of that energy comes with a $1 billion price tag as household small networks guzzle around the clock, even when our gadgets hibernate and we sleep,” the NRDC found.
More efficient models use one-third less energy than average models, and if used widely could save a third of that annual, billion-dollar pricetag.
A previous report by the Council found that video-gaming households can save as much as $100 a year simply by turning the game consoles off when they are not being used.
Meanwhile, Arizona utility the Salt River Project cautions that “vampire appliances,” that sap electricity even when they’re not turned on, absorb about 4-5 percent of the average household’s power usage. Nationally, that adds up to 52 billion kilowatt-hours being wasted each year, or the output of about 26 average-sized power plants. The SRP’s top five “Power Vampires?
1. Home computers and computer-related equipment.
2. Instant-on televisions, such as plasma, LCD or rear-projection.
3. Surround-sound systems.
4. Cable or satellite television boxes.
5. Any appliance that contains a clock, like microwave ovens, coffee makers, or DVD players.
What’s the best thing you can do to save electricity (and lower your monthly bill) from these “Vampires”? Unplug the device when you’re not using it, or switch off the power strip it’s plugged in to…