As you go about your day, what occupies your mind? You probably spend your time thinking about what needs to get done at home and at work. It’s likely you pay little mind to small electrical devices consuming electricity and driving up your energy bills. By spending just a moment to shut off items when they’re not in use, you can optimize your energy savings both at home and at work.
Is It Worth the Effort?
With so many other things occupying your time throughout the day, you may wonder: is it worth it to turn off and unplug devices on a daily basis, or is the energy savings not worth the trouble? Well, if you want to save as much energy as possible, then yes, it’s worth switching things off when no one’s using them.
A total of 100 billion kilowatt-hours of energy is wasted annually in the US due to “energy vampires” alone – that is to say, those devices that continue to draw energy from the outlet even they’re when turned off. This collectively costs US consumers more than $11 billion, or about $120 per household each year.
Not only is this energy consumption a huge waste of money, but it also has a negative effect on the environment. If every home and business in America took a stand against energy vampires and made it a priority to turn off and unplug devices when not in use, millions of tons of carbon emissions could be kept out of the atmosphere each year.
How to Optimize Energy Savings at Home
Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to put that $120 back in your pocket each year. Follow these steps to optimize energy savings at home:
- Turn off devices when not in use. Even things that don’t seem to consume much power when turned on add up over the course of a year. So turn off fans, lamps, overhead lights, CD players, DVD players and other devices when no one’s using them.
- Unplug devices with power adaptors when not in use. It’s not enough to simply turn off devices with power adaptors. They enter standby mode and continue to consume power. That’s why you need to unplug them completely when not in use. Such items include battery chargers, computers, game consoles, TVs, DVRs, printers and high-end sound systems.
- Use a central power strip as a turn-off point. This way, when you’re done on your computer, or you’re finished using the home theater, you can simply flip a switch and turn everything off all at once. Be sure to keep any product with a timer or clock display – such as a DVR or DVD player – plugged in so background functions aren’t interrupted.
- Choose Energy Star qualified electronics, which consume less power while operating and in standby mode.
How to Optimize Energy Savings at Work
You can also take the energy-saving efforts to work with you. Business owners, optimize your energy savings with these tips:
- Install motion sensors in the bathrooms so the lights only come on when someone’s in the room.
- Turn off all but the most vital security lights when you leave work every night.
- Make sure all employees power down their work stations at the end of the day. The power strip trick used at home works well at work too, so your employees can easily turn devices completely off with one touch of a button.