Home Electronics

ENERGY STAR® home electronics products help you save energy and money, while protecting the environment. You get all of the features and content you desire, while using less energy.

  • Plug your electronics into a power strip with an on/off switch, and turn off the power strip when you are not using the products. This is the only way to ensure that the electronics are not using standby power.
  • Unplug battery chargers as soon as the device is fully charged or when the charger is not being used. A battery charger continues to draw power even when the device it is charging has been removed. This electricity is wasted as heat (which you can feel by simply touching the charger when it is plugged in).
  • Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.

Computers

  • Shutting down your computer and monitor for 12 hours a day can save you approximately $51 per year.
  • Using the sleep mode or energy-saving feature on your computer instead of the 
  • screen saver when you aren’t using your computer for a few minutes can save you approximately $20 per year.
  • Purchase a laptop computer as it uses 40% less power than a desktop model.
  • Use a flat-screen LCD computer monitor and use about 66% less power than a standard monitor.
  • Turning a computer on and off doesn’t use any extra electricity and won’t damage your computer. Shutting it down reduces the wear on your computer and cuts down on your power use.

Televisions

  • Consider your options when purchasing a new TV. Not all TVs use the same amount of power. For example, LCD TVs use one third less power than a plasma TV of the same size.

Standby Power

You’ve just finished watching your favorite television show, and being environmentally conscious, you turned off your TV set before leaving the room. Or did you? A growing number of household electrical devices are designed to draw power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when turned “off,” these appliances and home electronics continue to use electricity - referred to as standby power - to operate features, such as clocks, timers and touch pads, or to receive signals from remote controls. Battery chargers (used by products such as cordless phones) or external power supplies (used by products such as laptops) also draw power when they are plugged in – even if the device they power is fully charged or disconnected. Although the standby power consumption of most devices is relatively small, generally ranging from 0.5 to over 25 watts of electricity, the number of devices drawing standby power is large and growing. Also known as “leaking electricity”, “vampire power” and “phantom loads”, standby power accounts for 5-10% of all electricity used in the typical Canadian home.

If you regularly use a number of battery chargers (e.g. for power tools, cell phones or personal digital assistants [PDAs]), consider creating a “charging station” where all of the chargers are plugged into a single power bar. This will allow you to easily monitor their use and turn them all off at once.

When you are finished watching a movie or playing a video game, remember to turn off the DVD player, cable/satellite box or game console as well as the television itself. While no one is watching, these television peripherals consume a significant amount of electricity; left “on,” DVD players consume 5 to 25 watts, cable or satellite boxes 8 to 45 watts, a game console 8 to 135 watts (though the latest models can consume up to 185 watts).

If you have home electronics that are used infrequently, such as a second TV, DVD player or audio system, plug them into a power bar that can easily be turned off to avoid standby power consumption. Entertainment devices are among the biggest culprits when it comes to standby power consumption: 40 percent of all electricity used to power consumer electronics is used when the products have been turned off and are in standby mode.

Remember always look for the ENERGY STAR® label when shopping for new home electronics products. And when getting rid of your old electronics remember SWEEP the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program that is offered by SARCAN and allows Saskatchewan residents to recycle most electronics at SARCAN locations within the province.