In the average Saskatchewan home, about 10% of the electricity used is for electronics.
Think your home electronics don’t use that much energy - think again! Even when you’re not using your electronics, they’re using power. Forty percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the product is turned off. This standby power is equal to about 4% of total home electricity consumption or over 300 kilowatt hours per year. Although they may be turned off, many of these products still use electricity while they are in “standby/off” power mode to maintain digital clocks, displays, and other internal features.
Some standby power is necessary. It’s the kind of thing that keeps your television ready to detect signals from your remote control. If you watch your television a lot, you’ll appreciate having it ready. But, keep in mind it can draw up to 4 watts of power even when it’s not on. One great option, especially at night, is to put your whole entertainment center on a power bar with a timer. You can set it to be ready when you get up in the morning and not use any power when you’re sleeping or when you’re away at work.
Even when your battery charger is not attached to a phone, drill, camera, or other appliance, it is still drawing power while being plugged in. The charger will also draw some current even after the appliance is fully charged.
Devices likely to draw standby power:
- Any appliance with a digital interface or clock
- Microwave, coffee maker, DVD player
- Anything that relies on DC power
- Laptop computer, electric toothbrush, printer
- Any device that has a remote control
- Stereo, television, cable box
Devices unlikely to draw standby power
- Any appliance that has a mechanical switch that closes an electronic circuit in order to work
- Overhead lights, lamps, and many kitchen appliances like mixers or toasters
Home electronics that have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR® label use up to 50% less energy to perform the same functions as standard models - saving consumers money on electricity bills and helping to fight global warming. The average home has two televisions, three phones, and one DVD player. If everyone replaced these items with ENERGY STAR® models we would prevent 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions - equivalent to those of more than 2 million cars.
Three factors influence the increased amount of energy consumed by televisions: screen size, resolution, and display technology.
Televisions that earn the ENERGY STAR® label are up to 30% more efficient than standard models by saving energy while they are on and when they are off. The new specification applies to all screen sizes and across a wide array of the most popular television technologies.
Home Theatre Systems
The typical home theater setup includes a television set with cable or satellite connection, a DVD player, a receiver, and up to eight speakers. ENERGY STAR® can be found on many of the DVD and audio products needed to build a home theater system that will deliver the desired entertainment value and save money on energy bills.
Cordless phones, answering machines, and combination units that have earned ENERGY STAR® perform much more efficiently than standard units by incorporating improved energy performance features such as switch-mode power supplies and “smart” chargers.
External Power Adapters
External power adapters, also known as external power supplies, are crucial to the operation of virtually all small electronic devices. Power adapters convert high voltage AC electricity from the wall outlet to the low voltage DC power used to charge electronics, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, laptops, and cordless and mobile phones. ENERGY STAR® power adapters are up to 30% more efficient than standard models and are often lighter and smaller, making them more convenient for travel.
ENERGY STAR® home electronics help lower electricity bills and energy use - saving energy, money, and the environment. When upgrading to new ENERGY STAR® home electronics, take your old electronics to a recycling program that accepts used electronics.