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Hidden Energy Usage of Household Appliances

August 08, 2017

Have you ever considered the amount of energy  your appliances may be consuming while not in use? According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in the average American home, roughly 40 devices and appliances are always drawing power, even if they are considered to be “off.”

These products eventually add up and could be one reason for your unexplained, high energy bills. Not only do these appliances consume massive amounts of electricity, but they also contribute to climate change. Electricity production represents about 37 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration. Cutting back on appliance electricity standby use is not only beneficial for our wallets, but the well-being of our planet.

In order to reduce the amount of idle power appliances are using in our homes, we must first understand where most of the energy is coming from. This month we break down where you could be wasting the most energy and simple ways to cut back on standby power.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/science/just-how-much-power-do-your-electronics-use-when-they-are-off.html

In 2015, the Pew Research Center concluded that 67 percent of American households have a high-speed internet connection, which normally contains at least one modem and one router.  Now consider all your devices and appliances that connect to the internet in order to perform their functions. At least one is constantly being used, and even though more appliances on the market are becoming more energy efficient, we are accumulating more of them.

To estimate your personal appliance and home electricity energy, use the Appliance Energy Calculator. It allows you to better estimate your personal annual energy use to help you better manage specific energy drawing products.

Utility companies may provide hourly data for electrical energy consumption that will allow you to track how much energy your home consumes on an hourly basis. Ask your local utility for more information.

Easy Ways Reduce Standby Power

  • Unplug products that you don’t use often.
  • Use a power strip to turn on and off a mass amount of products. Be mindful of plugging appliances with clocks or internet access in the same power strip with appliances who have unlike features.
  • Buy products that specifically have low-standby usage. Energy Star has a wide variety of lower standby products currently on the market.

 

Sources:

Energy.gov

Standby.lbl.gov

hes-documentation.lbl.gov

NYTimes.com

 

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