Thursday, February 10, 2011

Energy Vampires in Your House

Have you ever wondered how your electric bill gets so high? You can reduce it by taking shorter showers, running full loads of dishes, and turning off the lights, but did you know that your house is consuming energy every minute of the day even if you have nothing turned on?

Standby power refers to the energy it takes to run electric devices even when they are turned off. Think of anything that has a display, remote control, or external power supply -- your microwave, TV, AC, alarm clock, and printer, just to name a few.

If you want to reduce your standby power usage, get your kids involved and have them count up how many devices you have plugged in. Then, think about what you could unplug. Maybe a rarely used phone? a VCR leftover from the dark ages? We actually do still have a VCR (not sure why...) but I was happy to find it already unplugged!

For more info on exactly how much each device uses, watt-meters, and suggestions for future purchases, check out Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.

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