Having been sorely disappointed by the energy monitor we borrowed from the library (it never really worked, most of the time the display just showed dashed lines, and when it did, it was very insensitive), I put out an appeal for a plug in device that tells you how much energy an appliance is using. I thought about buying one, but I decided that by the time the initial novelty of racing around the house plugging things into it had worn off, it was probably not that useful.
Twitter came up trumps again (have I mentioned how muchI love Twitter…?!) and the wonderful people at Rugby Friends of the Earth very kindly sent me theirs to borrow.
Since then, I have had much excitement plugging in things and exclaiming at how much, or how little, energy they use (never let it be said that I need to get out more…)
And the results have indeed been Quite Interesting.
Standy/Sleep mode (when you haven’t touched it for a minute or two and the screen switches off): 38W
Off (when I’ve Shut Down, the computer, not me): 9.68W
WHAT!!!!! It is turned OFF, and still drawing nearly 10 whole watts? This is outrageous!
By my calculations, if the computer was just left turned off but plugged in (i.e. not even used), over a year, it would use 87.6kWh of electricity. That is just crazy.
That’s 106 kWh a year!! Unplug that thing!
Apparently there is little or no difference in energy use between low and medium, yet on medium you can cook for shorter periods, so maybe, I should be using it on medium, for less time?
That’s 107kWh a year-UNPLUG!!!
PVR-new fangled video recorder thing
When it’s OFF but still has the clock showing, and presumably is still doing stuff as sometimes it might be recording, and I think maybe our digital signal comes through this? 12.3W
Broadband modem: 7.35W (64kWh a year)
All of the things that we could easily un-plug when we are not using: computer; printer; TV-add up to 300kWh over a year. If we unplugged them, we could save about £40.
And then if we add in turning the modem off overnight (hubby turned pale at the thought of this-does anyone do this? Does it still fire up ok every morning?) that is another 24kWh. Or £3.60 (Actually, for the potential hassle of losing the internet, maybe a £3.60 saving over a year is not that great?)
For comparison, average electricity consumption is about 3,800kWh per year. So saving 300-360kWh is nearly 10%. By just unplugging! How cool/scary is that?
The radio, our bedside clock, the Small’s gro-clocks, the baby monitor and the night light, all showed readings of ZERO, which I was delighted at. Until hubby said something about transformer plugs and AC and DC currents. So basically, the monitor might not be able to detect the current that they are using, and my initial smug delight is unfounded.
The take home message of this post is, don’t assume that because you’ve turned something OFF and it’s not on standby, that it’s not using any electricity. If at all possible, turn stuff off at the plug. It might be a bit of a pain, but you could save some cash, and as I discovered when investigating all things electrical, using one unit less of electricity at home, actually means that somewhere along the line, 25 units have NOT been used, so it very quickly all adds up.
So what are you waiting for? Go Pull that Plug!