Thinking of switching to solar? Fantastic! But before you leap make sure you’ve got your home’s energy consumption capped at minimum levels.
How? Not by giving up the latest and greatest devices! No need for that. One way to get your home operating at peak efficiency is to lower your “standby power” profile.
What’s “standby power”? It’s the electricity your devices use when you aren’t using them.
When you turn off your lamps, televisions, computers, etc., they don’t stop sucking power from the electrical outlets. They simply power down to “standby power” -- a minor wattage “leak” that, multiplied by the number of devices throughout your home, can add up to a significant amount of power (and therefore money).
- Computer devices will use 66 watts of electricity per hour while idling: printer, cable modem, multiple wireless routers, laptop chargers, mini speaker, etc.
- Entertainment systems will use 57 watts: flat screen TV, cable box, sound system with subwoofer, DVD player, etc.
- Kitchen appliances will use 6 watts: microwave, coffee maker, etc.
Depending on your home’s size, these and other devices can add $300 to $1,500 to your electrical bill annually. That’s just for keeping your devices plugged in and available all the time.
Unplug the Lamps?
But what’s to be done? Nobody wants to go around unplugging and re-plugging every lamp, phone charger and computer they use as they move about the house.
The Solution: Remote Control Power Strips
The solution is simple: remote-control power strips. Buy a few of them at your hardware store. They cost about $30. Then, wherever you have multiple high-standby-power- devices in one place (your computer setup, your entertainment center, etc.) plug all of the devices into one power strip.
These power strips come with small, discreet remote controls that can be placed in convenient spots like tabletops and counter tops. Tapping them doesn’t require bending, stretching or moving appliances.
Just as you turn off the lights when leaving a room, get into the habit of remotely “unplugging” whenever you:
- Leave your home office for the day,
- Finish watching TV (remember to use a separate outlet for your DVR so it can record shows in your absence),
- Leave home for extended times on vacation.
The EnergyStar Program Regulates Standby Power
The EnergyStar Program now regulates appliances’ standby power. So if you own EnergyStar appliances you’re off the hook. They’re already engineered to use the bare minimum of standby power.
Retrofit your home for standby power and enjoy your luxurious 21st Century lifestyle in peace.