Score a Touchdown for Energy Efficieny

September 23, 2015

Fall is a great time of year – school has begun and apple cider donuts and pumpkin-flavored coffee are taking over bakeries, coffee houses, and grocery stores. The baseball season is winding down while fall TV programming and college and pro football are just kicking off, which can make for some great drama in your living room. While our use of home electronics changes as we begin to switch from beach season to couch season, you can change how much energy they use by following our playbook to better home electronic efficiency.  

First Down – Check your equipment settings

Before you go too far into the season, make sure you check the equipment you’re using to ensure it’s optimized for use. When it comes to your home electronics, this means checking your laptop or desktop computer’s settings to make sure the Power Management settings have been enabled. You can find Power Management settings on your computer’s control panel. This simple step can save you up to $50 annually. Don’t stop there, though. Many new TVs have energy-saving modes that lower brightness slightly to reduce energy consumption, which can save you even more.

Second Down – Reset the timer

If you like home electronics, you probably have more AC adapters and USB chargers than you know what to do with. Having these plugged in and dispersed around your house drains small amounts of energy that, collectively, can add up to a lot of energy waste. Why not consolidate all of these charging devices onto one device that you can switch on or off – or, better yet, set a timer for when you need to charge a device? This practice reduces miscellaneous plug loads from these chargers throughout your home, making it easier to track and reduce energy waste. It also makes it easy to find your phone when it’s charging and keeps cord confusion limited to one place!

While AC adapters and USB chargers don’t use a lot of energy when plugged in, eliminating these plug loads can save you up to $5 annually for each one in continuous use. If you have a family of four with four phones, two tablets, and a wireless speaker, you can save enough on your energy bill to pay for a pizza and movie night.    

Third Down – Tackle wasted energy use from your electronics

Not only do your AC adapters and USB chargers use energy when they are plugged in but not in use – every home electronic product plugged into an outlet in your home is costing you money! The best way to reduce standby power loss is to prevent it from happening by using an advanced power strip. These special power strips are capable of eliminating power from home electronics when they are not being used, saving you up to $30 annually. Mass Save offers great deals on advanced power strips all year round!

If you want better defense from standby power loss, use an advanced power strip that is capable of reducing active waste, which is the wasted energy from when a device is on but not in use. Examples of active waste include falling asleep with the TV on and leaving a video game console on pause for long durations of time. Some advanced power strips are capable of reducing active waste and eliminating standby power loss through use of motion sensors that can turn off devices when not in use which can save you up to $60 annually.

Fourth Down – Make a substitution

It’s going to be long season, and every once and a while you need to make a substitution, especially if you use streaming services like Netflix and Pandora. Many devices in your home are capable of streaming content from these services, but do you know which devices are the most efficient? According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, a tablet is the most efficient device for accessing and streaming media. If possible, avoid using a game console – they use 12 times as much energy as a tablet! If you are streaming to a TV and cannot use a tablet, consider using a dedicated digital media adapter, like a Roku or Apple TV, instead of a set-top or cable box.

As New England’s favorite football team works to defend their title this season, remember that the best defense is a good offense. By taking these few extra steps to control your home electronics energy use this fall, you can save over $100 each year on your bill and feel less guilty settling into couch season. 

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