Power Hungry Gadgets Can Be Costly

The major topics of discussion this week centered on the increasing demand of power hungry gadgets in the form of consumer electronics. This after the California Energy Commission proposed a plan to reduce the power consumption of new TV’s sold in the state by about half of what it is now in 2013.  Turns out that some of these flat screen televisions we’ve been buying are bigger consumers of electricity than some refrigerators. A recent article in the New York Times suggests  “the proliferation of personal computers, iPods, cell phones, and game amounts to the fastest-growing source of power demand in the world. Americans now have about 25 consumer electronic products in every household, compared with just three in 1980.” What’s worse is that the amount of power consumed by these electronics is expected to triple over the next two decades.  Energy experts see one solution; mandatory efficiency rules specifying how much power devices may use. Similar regulations were passed in the early 90’s regarding refrigerator efficiency standards and successfully cut the amount of energy consumed by these products by almost half.  Therein lies the problem, in the absence of federal regulations, most modern consumer electronics are being designed to draw electricity even when not in use forcing states, like California, to take matters into their own hands.  Think about the wasted energy that is consumed by every day household products like your computer, TV, cable and DVR boxes, video game consoles, and the list goes on.  This “leakage” of electricity adds up to increased kW consumption which in turn costs you more on your monthly electricity bill. . Opponents of these regulations say that these mandates threaten to raise prices for consumers while limiting their choices.  The fact is awareness alone can make a difference. Did you know you could cut your energy usage by up to 16% by limiting the power wasted by inactive devices just by plugging them into smart power strips? The investments for these Smart Strips are recouped in electricity savings in less than six months. Furthermore, consumers can do their part by supporting home electronics that are rated under “Energy Star,” a program that classifies products in more than 60 categories according to their energy consumption. Energy Star products give environmental conscious consumers more choices and use energy more efficiently. Take a look at this weeks Green Tips and for more information, do not hesitate to visit our website.

Green Tip #1: Use Daylight Harvesting!

By far, the best source of light we know is (yes, you guessed it) the sun, which gives off free, full-spectrum light all day. Make the most of daylighting by putting in some skylights, or, to take it even further, sunlight can be “piped” inside via fiber optics and other light channeling technologies like the solatube.

Green Tip #2: Turn off & Unplug appliances when not in use!

Turn off all lights and unplug non-essential appliances in order to “leak” less electricity (fans, humidifiers, A/C). Surge Protectors & Smart Strips make it even easier to turn off multiple appliances with just the flip of a switch!

Green Tip #3: Wash your clothes in cold water!

By using cold water instead of warm, the average household can avoid emitting 1,281 pounds of carbon dioxide annually and save on energy bills.

This article was contributed by Sohail Hassan, President & CEO of Inergy Solutions, LLC.  You can find out more about what this company does at www.inergysolutions.com