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PEC News

Use Devices Efficiently

Date: February 09, 2021
Topics: People's Powerline - Newsletter

Many people continuously use technology for work, school, entertainment, and socializing, especially as we spend more time indoors in cold weather. That can hike energy use—and bills. Using the energy saver mode on your devices, appliances, and even some heating equipment could go a long way toward easily reducing energy consumption without sacrificing performance. Depending on your products, this may also be called “low power mode,” “battery saver,” or something similar.

Make sure your TV’s standard or normal picture setting is selected and that energy-saving features like automatic brightness control are enabled. Enable “auto power down” on your gaming console to ensure the device goes into low-power mode when not in use. ENERGY STAR estimates that using these power management features could save you up to $30 a year.  Also, avoid accessing streaming video through your game console. The game console can use at least 10 times more energy to stream a movie than, say, a Roku box or the app on your smart TV.

Shut down devices you’re not using. If you need a power strip to plug in more devices and equipment and make it easier to turn them off at once, consider an advanced power strip to reduce electricity waste from idle devices that may still be consuming power in standby mode.  The Department of Energy has more advice for curbing energy waste from devices that may appear to be switched off but are still using electricity, also known as “energy vampires.”

Here are more tips for some of the most energy-intensive appliances in our homes:

  1. Use cold water for laundry and wash full loads to save on energy and water heating.

  2. Try not to open the oven door to check on your food—the temperature may drop as much as 25 degrees, requiring more energy to heat up again.

  3. Lowering the temperature on your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can potentially save you up to $400 a year—and you won’t notice the difference.
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