Consumer electronic products are responsible for approximately 6% of household electricity use. The average American household has 24 consumer electronics products ranging from televisions, to DVD players or recorders, to computers and laptops.
Time for an upgrade?
When the time comes for you to replace your television, computer, printer or other home electronics, consider purchasing energy efficient products. An example of an energy efficient product would be an ENERGY STAR labeled computer, which uses 70% less electricity than computers without this designation. Along with saving energy directly, this equipment also can reduce air-conditioning loads.
Did you know that many electronic devices continue to draw a small amount of power even after being switched off? This phenomenon, described as “phantom loads,” occurs in most devices that use electricity, including DVD players, televisions, stereos and computers.
In the typical home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off. In the U.S. “phantom loads” cost consumers more than $3 billion a year, and all that wasted electricity is equivalent to the output of several full-size power plants.
Tools to eliminate “phantom loads”
Having to unplug all your electronics one by one in order to eliminate the “phantom loads” would be tedious. You can accomplish the same goal by using power strips. When a power strip is turned off, any devices that are plugged into it are disconnected from the power source, putting an end to “phantom loads.”
An alternative to your basic power strip is a “smart” power strip. A “smart” power strip has special circuitry that controls each of its electrical outlets individually. The circuitry can detect when you shut off a connected device. The “smart” power strip will automatically disable the appropriate outlet. Meanwhile, the remaining outlets on the strip will stay on. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything.