They skulk on TV stands. They hide under desks and lurk in kitchenettes. No pale skin or fangs look for the glow from standby lights and displays instead. Electronics in off mode are draining watts from unwitting homes and offices.
Here’s a chilling example: home audio systems use 93% of their energy while shut off! Most people use their audio systems about an hour daily but these units suck about 9 watts hourly even in standby mode. Time to get the garlic!
Chew on this: average American households constantly leak about 50 watts, wasting $1 billion in electricity annually. Then consider this: not shutting down office computers at the end of the day drains $2.8 billion per year from American companies!
Are the villagers i.e. your sense and wallet rioting yet? Wield your wooden stake: unplug all appliances, chargers, video and audio equipment, computers, etc. when not in use. Or more conveniently, connect everything to power strips to turn off several things at once.
A study at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that households cut 6-26% on electricity bills by eliminating standby energy drain offices can use the same shut-off method to save too. Sink your teeth into that!
1. Look for the blue sticker: TVs with the ENERGY STAR label cut standby electricity losses by up to 75%.
2. Video electronics like cable boxes and DVD players account for 35% of electricity loss.
3. Save 6-26% on electric bills by unplugging electronics that are not in use.
According to the California Energy Commission, home appliances that function in a standby mode, such as answering machines, cell and cordless phones, and electric razors, continue to draw energy after they’re turned off. Of those appliances that deplete electricity without our knowledge, video products cable boxes, satellite dishes, VCRs, etc. are the biggest culprits, accounting for 35 percent of energy lost. Home audio equipment accounts for 25 percent and 10 percent is burned by communications devices. Amazingly, since most people only use their small audio systems for an hour a day, 93 percent of the units’ total energy usage happens while they are ostensibly shut off, but continue to draw about 9 watts per hour.
In 1998, a Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory study showed that the average American household continually leaks about 50 watts of electricity. Eliminating that trickle would save $1 billion annually in wasted electricity.
Look for the EnergyStar label on products such as office equipment, light bulbs, dishwashers, and air conditioning units. This EPA-backed program’s mission is to set a high standard on energy-saving appliances; TVs with the EnergyStar sticker can cut standby electricity losses by 75 percent.
A recent study by students and scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows that the average California home pays between $50 and $70 every year to keep those little red lights burning, the clocks ticking and the electronics humming while the appliances go unused. Eliminating this standby or “leaking” electricity could save households between six and 26 percent on their average monthly electricity bill, the study found.