The amount of power-hungry gadgetry we have in our living rooms and home offices has proliferated in the last few years.
In the living room we have TVs, DVD players, PVRs, Freeview boxes, radios, games consoles. In the home office we might have computers, a printer, a scanner, a router for the internet, phones, a fax etc. We have mobile phones, digital cameras, iPods etc, all of which need charging.
We don’t want to do without them, but it is important that we make sure that they are not using more energy that they need to.
One of the easiest ways to save electricity is to switch off gadgets when you’re not using them, rather than leaving them in standby mode. But note, it can make a huge difference whether you have an older, energy hungry model, or a newer, efficient model.
Which? estimates the difference between the best and worst standby performance for a variety of appliances:
|Power Consumption||Annual Cost|
|DVD Player||6.1 Watts (worst)
0.1 Watts (best)
|DVD Recorder||20.2 Watts (worst)
1.5 Watts (best)
|Freeview Box||14.1 Watts (worst)
0.8 Watts (best)
The Energy Saving Trust recommends TV’s power consumption in standby should be below 1.5 Watts. According to Which? most new TVs now meet this.
But even with these more efficient models, though the individual savings may not be great, if we all did it, the combined savings would be considerable.
You can also make sure the brightness setting on your TV is suitable for your room. The brighter the TV is set, the more energy it uses. The factory settings on TVs are often too bright for home use.
Unplug Gadget Chargers
Another small but important change is to unplug gadget charges when they are not needed. If a charger feels warm when it’s plugged in without being attached to a device, it’s still converting energy. It costs less than a penny to charge a phone for eight hours, but unplugging when not in use is one of those changes that can make a big environmental impact if everyone were to do it.
Alternatively, invest in a solar or wind-up charger. These are great for when you’re travelling too.
Energy Saving Tips for Computers
Source: Energy Saving Secrets
|Unplug: always ensure you properly unplug your computer from the mains when you’re not using it|
|Shut down: when turning off your computer, select shut down rather than log off, which will still keep your PC running|
|Idle time: if you’re going to be away from your desk, change your idle settings so your PC hibernates (and therefore uses less energy) even after short periods of non-activity|
|Turn off: even better, if you’re not going to be using your PC for a while, turn it off to save energy|
|Blackle, don’t Google: Blackle is an energy saving version of Google, because of its black background. (Note this only works if your screen is NOT backlit.)|
Turning Equipment Off: Get Automated
It is difficult to remember to keep switching all those things off, even when you have the best of intentions. It’s a good idea to invest in a good power surge adapter and plug it into one wall socket so that a whole bank of equipment can be turned off with just one switch.
You can also buy intelligent sockets with remote controls so that inaccessible sockets can be turned off remotely.
Making shut down as easy as possible will mean that you are more likely to do it.