Suprising Home-Energy Hogs

 I always wondered why my hydro bill is so high, I conserve energy by not keeping the lights on when I am not in a room but just doing that is not nothing to lower my hydro bill. In Ontario our hydro costs is sky shy, in the summer time I pay $100 a month on electricity, in the winter time it’s $75 a month. When I asked my landlord how much his hydro bill is he said it’s only $30/month. So obviously, I have a lot more applicances plugged in even though I am not using them.

I use air-conditioners (1 in bedroom, 1 in living/dining room) all summer.  And for a 800 sq ft apartment it takes a lot of air-conditioning to cool an apartment this size. But it’s even more than that, as I type this I just drealized that the floor lamp beside me isn’t lit with energy efficient light bulbs, I can’t find those types of bulbs for dimmer type lamps. And it’s even more than that, I’ve counted all the devices I have plugged in right now, 16 applicances plugged into outlets, even though most are not in use.

Here’s an interesting article and ways you can lower your electricity bill…

Digital picture frames are small, so it’s hard to think of them as energy hogs. But if each U.S. household had one of these frames running around the clock, it would take five power plants to run them all, says the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an electricity-focused research and development nonprofit.

Large home appliances like refrigerators and dryers are typical examples of energy-hungry devices, but energy hogs don’t necessarily need to be large in size. Small devices are also collectively sucking a lot of energy from the power grid, and as these devices become commonplace their energy consumption rises exponentially. “It’s the subtlety of the effect of large numbers of very small consuming devices,” says Tom Reddoch, the executive director of energy utilization at EPRI.

Other small energy hogs include mobile phone chargers and laptop power adapters that are always plugged in to electric outlets. These chargers continue to draw energy even when the devices they charge have been disconnected. And “always-on” appliances like printers or speakers are called “energy vampires” because they also suck up power even when they’re turned off or in an idle state.

Worse yet, the number of always-on devices is on the rise. Reddoch estimates that the typical U.S. home 30 years ago had about three always-on devices; today that number has climbed to more than 30.

Slaying energy vampires, however, is worthwhile in the long run. While a refrigerator typically accounts for about 8% of the typical household’s total annual energy consumption, Reddoch says, vampire devices account for about 4%.

What’s the best way to rein in energy hogs and vampires? The simplest answer is to turn off and unplug devices when they’re not in use. If unplugging isn’t practical or convenient, use a smart power strip to help stop the flow of electricity to an idle current. For instance, some smart strips allow you to set up a lead device like a computer so that when it is turned off, other supporting devices, like printers and speakers, are also turned off.

We don’t often bother to change a device’s default settings, but we can save energy here too. For example, you can manually lower the default brightness and intensity settings on a TV.

Knowing how much energy we waste keeping devices on all the time should also motivate us to change our habits. Kyle Tanger, chief executive of green consultancy ClearCarbon, recommends using an electricity monitor like the Kill A Watt, a product that measures the energy efficiency of household appliances, to give you a better sense of their usage cost.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s