Greenies are known for being penny pinchers and energy misers. But how to go about it in a scientific way? And can you even really save that much money/energy consumption?
Recently I purchased a Kill-a-watt (~$20 on Amazon.com). The kill-a-watt is a simple device that plugs into the wall. To measure your energy usage, you simply plug in the appliance or a power strip with several appliances. It has an LCD and several functions to help you monitor your device(s) energy usage... both when they are on and when they are off.
But when my coffee maker is off, it's off right?
Surprisingly (to me at least) most modern appliances still consume a fair bit of electricity when turned off! Commonly this phenomenon is known as "Vampire" electronics.
So how much money will I be saving by utilizing my kill-a-watt and a trusty ol' on/off power strip?
My work desk includes the following items:
- speakers - 25 watts on
- laptop - 20 watts on, 1 watt off
- cable modem and wireless router - 25 watts on
- Xbox - 90 watts on , 1 watts off
- Monitor - 30 watts on, 1 watts off
- Desk aggregate consumption during work hours (while not playing video games) - 100 watts
- Desk aggregate (laptop, Xbox and monitor off) - 50 watts !
Summing up, I can see that for the 16 hours a day that I don't use my desk, it's still drawing 50 watts. Over 1 year's time this consumes $33.28 of electricity. Call me a penny pincher but by using a power strip for the whole system, and spending the 2 seconds per day to turn the strip on and off I can squeeze out just a little bit of savings (making the equivalent of $230/hour... just to flip a switch on and off).
I can't wait to find more ways to kill my watts!