Southern California Edison (SCE) wants to warn its customers about the “energy vampires” throughout their homes and businesses. Common household devices and appliances still draw electricity even when they are off or in “sleep” mode. And that additional energy use can result in higher electricity bills.
Consumer electronics account for about 15 percent of all residential electricity consumption.
Electric devices – such as televisions, stereos, phone chargers, DVD players, computers, and microwave ovens – can be energy guzzlers. Simply plugging the devices into a power strip and turning it off (or unplugging the appliances completely) can save up to 5 percent on the average bill.
SCE encourages its customers to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR symbol when shopping for electronics and appliances.
The iconic blue star signifies that the model is among the most energy-efficient of its kind. ENERGY STAR-labeled products usually are competitive in terms of price and performance compared to less efficient models.
Some other facts to consider:
· ENERGY STAR-qualified TVs and set boxes use up to 30 percent less energy than comparable electronics that do not carry the energy-efficient label; home-entertainment equipment such as DVD players use up to 37 percent less. If all TVs sold in the United States met ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to about $1 billion annually, and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of about 1 million cars.
· A computer monitor with the ENERGY STAR symbol uses about 22 percent less electricity; a PC up to 33 percent less. If each computer and monitor in homes across the nation were to go into energy-saving “sleep” mode when not in use, more than $1 billion in annual energy costs would be saved.
· Telephones with the ENERGY STAR label use up to 58 percent less energy.
· As many as 2.4 billion external power adapters are in use in the United States – that’s about eight for every person.
These external power supplies contribute to about 12 percent of the national electric bill. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified external power supplies, and use power strips as centralized turnoff points once finished with use of the equipment.
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