They’re fun and help you pass the time — sometimes too much time! Electronic devices are on a lot — they account for about 19 per cent of your home’s electricity costs — but they don’t have to be running continuously when they aren’t in use. Get the most out of your devices instead of letting them get the most out of you.
Power used by electronic devices when they are plugged in but not being used is called phantom power. Some devices work better when plugged in all the time (e.g. microwave) while others can be turned off (e.g. gaming devices) when not in use. Phantom power accounts for 10 per cent of household power consumption. See how you can eliminate this unnecessary power use!
Use a power bar to manage your entertainment, computer and gaming power use. Hit the off switch on your power bar to stop your devices from drawing phantom power.
You can also repurpose an old power bar and turn it into a charging station for all of your portable electronic devices. Rather than unplugging all of the cords when not in use, you can just turn off the switch!
Intelligent power bars are a convenient way to reduce phantom power. These units have “controlled” and “always on” receptacles that allow you to manage your electronics more efficiently. You can plug your TV into the “master” receptacle and any devices that are only needed while the TV is on can be plugged into the “controlled” spot. When you turn off your TV, anything plugged into the “controlled” spots will also turn off.
If you have any devices that need to stay on — maybe your PVR needs to remain on to record — use the “always on” receptacle.
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Another option is a power bar with a timer. You can set your timer to shut off your devices when you are away from home or sleeping.
Smart plugs are a simple-to-use device that plug into standard wall sockets. They allow you to control whatever is plugged into it through an App on your smartphone or tablet. Some smart plugs allow you to create simple schedules for your home's electronics to maximize energy savings.
TVs and Monitors
Consider LED technology. ENERGY STAR TVs and monitors with LED backlighting use up to 30 per cent less than other models and still offer the same features, like ultra-high-definition and streaming capabilities.