Monday, February 09, 2009

SGS: Electricity Vampires

Yesterday, one of my friends and avid readers of this blog mentioned that he's going to learn how to be green from my posts. As this friend of mine is an avid computer geek, I think that this post will be interesting to him.

This article tells you some ways in which you may be using extra electricity and not even realize it. Did you know that such things as the clock on your microwave uses more electricity than you using to heat up food. These sort of Energy Vampires can represent a significant part of your electricity bill, up to 20% in the article posted.

For a while, we had a hot water thermos that was always plugged into the wall. It's a device that you plug in, you put water into it, and it boils and keeps the water hot indefinitely (as long as it's plugged in). Instant hot water when we needed it. We got it as a gift from one of Hubby's friends. Well, within a month or so of using it, I noticed that our Hydro bill shooting up significantly. We finally figured it was the thermos and have kept it unplugged ever since. In fact, we now use a stainless steel kettle on the stove to heat any water we need. It takes some time to get the water heated, but it's well worth it in my mind, and after a while, I don't notice the wait.

Some other things that we have done to lower the Energy Vampires around our house:
  • Our cell phone chargers are left unplugged unless we need to use them.
  • We have also identified a number of other adapters which we have unplugged or shut off. The adapters are essentially transformers, and actually suck a bit of electricity whenever it's plugged in and not charging anything.
  • We had three appliances in our kitchen, right next to each other, which told the time and heat food. We've since unplugged one of the them when not in use, after all, we don't need three clocks.
  • Except for our PVR, our entertainment centre (TV, DVD player, receiver, etc) gets switched off during the day when we're out of the house.
  • I actually unplug my work laptop adaptor when I'm not using it at home. No small feat for me as it requires a pregnant woman to crawl under her desk each time she wants to plug and unplug the adaptor.
I'm hoping in the future to arrange all the things that we keep plugged into walls and that are in a standby mode onto a power bar and to turn off the power bars when we are out of the house, or at least somehow get them off the grid when not in use. But baby steps is better than nothing at this point.

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