Getting new games for Christmas? Hoping for a tablet or TV under the tree?
You’ll save on your electric bill by purchasing products with the ENERGY STAR label. And once you have them at home, you’ll save even more by remembering to turn them off when not in use.
Much of the electricity used by home electronic equipment is consumed when the products are turned off. That’s because they’re not really “off” – they’re in standby mode, using electricity to power features like clocks, remote controls and channel/station memory.
ENERGY STAR qualified home electronics products in the “off” position use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional equipment, without sacrificing any important features. You save on your energy bills and reduce energy waste.
You can find the ENERGY STAR label on all types of electronics products:
• Set-top boxes (such as cable boxes, satellite receivers, Internet access devices and video game consoles)
• Telephone products (such as cordless phones, answering machines and combination units)
• Home office equipment (computer, monitor, printer and fax machine)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average home has one DVD player, three phones and two televisions. Televisions are typically larger, in use more hours each day, and offer more vibrant pictures and advanced features than ever before. Three factors influence the increased amount of energy consumed by televisions: screen size, resolution, and display technology. A useful rule of thumb is that power consumption is around one third of a watt per square inch of screen area. Thus a 42-inch TV will use around 70 percent more power than a 32-inch one.
EPA’s ENERGY STAR specification for televisions establishes stringent requirements for energy use. Televisions that earn the ENERGY STAR are up to 30 percent more efficient than standard models by saving energy while they are on and when they are off.
The current generation of gaming consoles is represented by the Microsoft XBox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii. Because these devices can be switched on for long periods, the electricity cost of using them can add up. During play, the XBox 360 uses 180 watts; PS3, 190 watts, and the Wii, only 18 watts. In standby mode, all three use only 2 watts of power.
Bottom line: Look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for electronics. And remember to turn electronics off when not in use.
A helpful brochure from ENERGY STAR is available here.