Stand By Electrical Power
Stand By Electrical Consumption
Most people assume that when they turn off an electrical appliance like their t.v. that they are turning it off. Turning off most appliances does save energy but many appliances continue to use electricity after being shut off. This is called stand by electrical power.
A large number of home electrical products from televisions to stereos to microwave ovens cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day which adds up!
This power consumption is commonly referred to as “standby power.”
In a study done at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers found that stand-by power may consume as much as 15 to 30 watts per appliance. [source: California Energy Commission].
Total this up and it’s estimated that more than 5 percent of your power bill can be attributed to appliances in standby mode, which equals about $4 billion consumer dollars spent to feed these appliances yearly
[source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory].
Stand-by contributors include any device that relies on standby power to hold memory or power a clock; such as televisions, stereos, refrigerators, air conditioners computers and cell phone chargers. Off is not enough.
An individual product draws relatively little standby power (see here for examples) but a typical American home has up to forty products constantly drawing power. Together these amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use.
How can you reduce standby power use in your home?
Here are some suggestions:
- If you aren’t frequently using a device, unplug it. [example: in guest rooms or room infrequently used ]
- Use a switchable power strip for clusters of computer or video products. That way you can switch everything to zero with one off switch.
- When shopping, search for low standby products. Knowledge is power ~ research your products before purchasing them. Look up ENERGY STAR products which all have lower or no standby power use.
~ concord carpenter
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