What would you do if I asked you to burn 10% of your cash?
I bet you would give me a suggestion of what I could do with that idea.
Warning: while you are reading this, standby power is burning up 10% of your home electric bill.
Standby power can be as high as 15% for houses where everything is left warmed up and ready all the time. The U.S. Environmental Protection checked homes where everything was switched off. They found that they still used 100 to 105 watts of standby power all the time. That is like leaving the light on in your closet all the time.
Digital video recorders, battery power tools and chargers for cell phones are all part of the problem. They use power even when they are done charging your batteries. Some adapters can draw as much as 20 times more energy in standby mode than is actually stored in the battery that they charge. Most stay plugged in day and night for their entire lifetime.
The EPA estimates that there are more than 1 billion battery chargers in the U.S. and predicts that number will grow. Energy Star has began a campaign to make chargers at least 35% more efficient. By doing this, the EPA believes it can save more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is equal to the output from 150,000 cars.
Many electronic devices in your home are always warmed up and using standby power. DVD/VCR players and cable/satellite converter boxes are among the most wasteful. These devices, known as "set-top boxes," draw 30 or more watts of power. The problem is that these boxes do not ever shut completely off. Computers and printers are also a huge standby drain. Traditional desktop computers average 35 watts in standby, while laptops average 16 watts. Screen savers actually make things worse, using 28% more power than normal.
What can you do at home?
Unplug your cell phone charger when you are not actually charging with it. Same with your battery powered tools and digital camera.
Us a power strip for your computer, monitor, printer and modem. A single master switch on a power strip or power box will stop wasting power by all of them.
Do not unplug items like TV’s that need to be reprogrammed.
Some DVD and VCR units will reboot ok and can be unplugged or switched completely off with a switch on a power strip.
Ask for Energy Star rated electronics and appliances when you shop for a new item.
Any electric appliance that has a little light on it showing that it is ready to use, even when switched off, is wasting power.
What can you do at work?
Many work places use about 40% as much power in standby mode as when they are in full operation! You can cut it in half.
Make sure your computer monitor is set up to use a sleep mode when you are away from your desk. If you desktop computer is not tied into an operations network shut it down when you leave work.
Keep your desktop printer switched off unless you are using it. Unplug appliances like stereos and coffee makers when you finish with them.
Unplug or switch off air-circulating fans before you punch out.
Switch off task lighting, production line lighting, quality inspection lighting.
Many companies burn up huge amounts of cash to power equipment that is left on after production has stopped.
When you stop work, don’t leave the electric meter running.
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