What's hogging the energy in your home?
Home computers, televisions, theater systems, techie gadgets and small appliances consumed 21 percent of all electricity use inside an average U.S. home in 2016, according to energystar.gov. Other energy-related groups estimate that out of all the energy Americans consume, 10 to 15 percent of it is used to power electronics (not including small appliances)—not because they are energy hogs, but because of their immense popularity and sheer volume.
To save money on your energy bills, two factors play a role when it comes to home electronics.
- Buying updated, more efficient devices can save money on operational costs
- Changing how you use them can conserve energy
When replacing electronics, consider ENERGY STAR versions to save even more.
- Use the power management options on your computers. Keep your computer in “sleep” mode when not in use (screen saver mode still uses energy and is not the same as sleeping a computer).
- One misconception that started many years ago with the old mainframe computers is that equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off. That does not apply to today’s computers. Most modern-day computers reach the end of their useful life long before the effects of repeatedly switching them on and off. Also, the less time a PC is on, the longer it will last, according to Energy.gov, and the more energy you will save.
- When replacing a home computer, consider purchasing a laptop, which is more energy efficient than a desktop computer.
- When buying a new television, today’s versions can be much more energy friendly than older, conventional models. New TVs that are energy-star rated are, on average, 27% more energy efficient than their predecessors, saving energy in all modes: sleep, idle and on.
- Consider plugging all your entertainment equipment into a smart power strip that turns off power to inactive devices, which helps electronic accessories from wasting power. Smart strips with surge protection can also help guard your equipment from possible power surges.
Purchasing efficient devices and changing how we use or don’t use electronics can result in energy savings.
Read more about home electronics from the Energy Education Council.