These days, it feels like electronic devices are everywhere we turn. Whether it’s our smartphones, televisions, computers, or smart home devices, we are always connected. But with that, comes a significant electricity cost – one that often goes overlooked by consumers for the sake of convenience.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 4 simple things that you can do with your home electronics in order to ensure you are limiting your energy bill and your home’s carbon footprint, without disrupting your lifestyle of comfort.
1. Don’t put everything on ‘Standby’ or ‘Sleep’ mode
It can be tremendously convenient to place our heavy duty appliances – particularly our game systems and computers – on ‘standby’ or ‘sleep’ mode in order to allow for more convenient usage when we return. Unfortunately, these modes often mean that a device is still using energy – sometimes, enough energy to make up 5-10% of your electricity bill.
While the convenience is valuable, there isn’t much harm in shutting down a computer or a game-system overnight. There are also smart power bars and master-and-sub socket power systems that can ensure that you are powering down everything when it’s not in use. Heading out of town for a few days? Make sure you’ve shut down that computer and unplugged that game system in order to put a noticeable dent in home energy costs.
2. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on your next electronics purchase
In the market for a new computer? Many PC’s and laptops now come with ENERGY STAR ratings and built-in efficiencies, which will significantly cut down on your device’s power consumption. ENERGY STAR is an internationally-recognized standard in energy efficiency, and you can be sure that an ENERGY STAR product will live up to all of your performance requirements, while noticeably reducing the amount of power sucked up by the device
3. Wherever possible, use a tablet
Tablets are still a relatively new technology, but studies have shown that they are one of the most energy-efficient consumer electronic devices on the market.
Consider these stats: a desktop computer uses six times as much energy as a tablet, while an LED TV uses 11 times as much. Into gaming? A gaming console plugged into an LED TV uses a whopping 51 times more energy than a tablet does – and often without little discernible improvement.
Tablets are constantly improving in their processing capacity, speed, and user experience. They can give users virtually everything they could want out of a multimedia device – at a significantly reduced energy demand from similar devices.
4. Avoid using game consoles for streaming services
The at-home video game console is seemingly ubiquitous in the home these days, and one of the most popular usages for it is to centralize all of our favourite streaming platforms. While the centrality of such a system may be appealing, consider this: streaming your favourite shows on a game console consumes 10 to 25 times more energy than streaming via a television or streaming device.
There are many alternatives – built in or external – that offer streaming capabilities. Save the game console for the games, and you’ll find yourself saving on your energy bill, too.