Friday, March 11, 2011

Minimizing Standby Energy Use: Lenten Carbon Fast Challenge Day 3

Today's Lenten Carbon Fast challenge:
Address your "standby" habits. Unplug mobile phone chargers and any unused appliances. 8% of electricity consumed at home is from "vampire" appliances that we aren't even using.
Now THIS is one of my favorite things: saving electricity by unplugging unused applicances. But instead of physically unplugging things, I use the easy way out: I plug them into power strips. Then I can just flip the switch and effectively "unplug" several gadgets at once.

This has an incidental function of surge protection and also getting my various electronic things nicely organized.

WARNING: there is ONE exception to this rule. My internet connection seems to go fluky if repeated  power cycled. It got to the point, a few years back, that after a couple hundred power cycles, it would take several hours for the internet box to restore its connection. A tech finally hinted that I just had to leave it on all the time, or the problem would get steadily worse.

Otherwise, before I go to bed I run a circuit. I check the doors to make sure they're locked. I check the catfood dishes, to make sure they're need. And I flip the power bars "off" so I'm not burning juice all night. It's easy and, in a way, a comforting little evening ritual!

1 comment:

Small Footprints said...

Quite some time ago, we were using power strips for our computers but nothing else ... it just didn't occur to us. Then, we woke up, and plugged everything possible into them. The only things not plugged into a power strip are the big things like the refrigerator, stove, washer/dryer. In the first month, by simply making that one change, and flipping the power strip switch off at night, when leaving the house, or when not in use, we cut our electricity bill in half. It's such a simple step ... but has huge benefits. Now my only problem is how to spend all the money we're saving (lol).