Do you have energy hogs in your home? (Not your kids!)

Forbes.com had an interesting story about some of the worst small appliance energy hogs in your home. I was shocked at how much energy these little guys can use and was guilty of several of the offenders.

From Forbes.com:

“Digital picture frames are small, so it’s hard to think of them as energy hogs. But if each U.S. household had one of these frames running around the clock, it would take five power plants to run them all, says the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an electricity-focused research and development nonprofit.”

“Large home appliances like refrigerators and dryers are typical examples of energy-hungry devices, but energy hogs don’t necessarily need to be large in size. Small devices are also collectively sucking a lot of energy from the power grid, and as these devices become commonplace their energy consumption rises exponentially. “It’s the subtlety of the effect of large numbers of very small consuming devices,” says Tom Reddoch, the executive director of energy utilization at EPRI.”

Other offenders included (see the full article for all the details on how much energy they waste):

Plasma TVS

Videogame consoles

Cable converter boxes

Battery chargers (What!!!)

22 comments Add your comment

JJ

February 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

Well, I unplug stuff when not in use. I heard that by just unplugging your microwave when not in use, you can save $50/yr.

So, as I go to bed, I turn just about everything off, the TV (Not plasma); the DVR; the space heaters,etc. Even the heat goes down to 60 while we are sleeping.

Now, when I leave town, I turn off the computer and unplug it too, then I unplug all the TVs and other electronics.

Greg

February 8th, 2011
12:37 pm

@JJ: You don’t turn off your DVR unless you actually unplug it. The have to stay on to record anything, so there is actually no true “off” switch for them.

I do turn off my computers before going to bed every night so they aren’t on all night. I’m also happy that I’ve been able to reduce my power consumption over time with more efficient appliances and computers.

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Me

February 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

Call me “bad” or whatever but saving energy just isn’t something I worry over. We adjust our heat to be around 68 but this is a temperature that is comfortable; we turn out lights when going to bed, etc. but this action isn’t really geared toward saving energy. Unplugging a microwave saves $50/yr.? So what would be the approximate total $$ savings per year if all of these “un-necessary” appliances were truly unplugged when not in use? I think, for me at least, that these savings would have to be astronomical in order to make it worth my time and effort.

DB

February 8th, 2011
1:17 pm

I never turn off computers, unless we are going out of town. I put it in “sleep” mode and that’s all. There’s no way I’m going through a reset of the TiVO to turn it off every time! And I’d be seriously annoyed if I had to remember to plug the microwave in every morning before I heated up a croissant.

I guess I’m I bit of an energy piglet — oink.

JOD

February 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

I know the aquarium is probably an energy hog, but it’s not like you can turn off the filter or heater. One of the big hogs that we are slowly getting rid of is recessed/can lights – those puppies take a TON of energy, especially if you have 4-8 in one room.

JJ

February 8th, 2011
1:22 pm

I don’t turn the DVR off if I’m recording something,.

light

February 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

jarvis

February 8th, 2011
1:42 pm

“each U.S. household”
Yes, 113 million of anything running 24 hours a day would indeed take up a lot of power.

motherjanegoose

February 8th, 2011
2:38 pm

If I had to remember to unplug the microwave every night, it would not be worth $50 per year.
What is that $1 per week? 15 cents per day? Too much trouble on my end. We do not turn our computers off, except during storms or when we are out of town. I already get out of bed many nights to make sure our garage door is closed as some here cannot remember to do it.

TWG…how is it that light ( above) is relevant to all topics?

JOD, we have those can lights in the basement but no one goes down there now that the kids are gone! I think we have a microwave down there too….LOL.

Lady Strange

February 8th, 2011
2:44 pm

Can’t say I unplug anything and I certainly leave the computer on all the time. But I do try to turn out lights and turn off things when leaving a room, or not using lights during the daytime. Things like that. My son’s pretty bad about leaving things on but he’s only 3 so I have to remind him to turn them off. LOL
We do have 2 aquariums with fish and I have 2 reptile tanks that stay on all the time otherwise they would die.

JJ

February 8th, 2011
3:00 pm

I greq up during the Energy Crises of the 70’s. I remember my parents constantly yelling at us to turn off lights in rooms we weren’t in. I guess it kind of stuck with me.

Georgia Power just got another 14% rate hike, and I really don’t want to give them any more money than I already do, so I’m very conscious of energy hogs.

CC

February 8th, 2011
3:08 pm

I never turn off anything other than lights at night. I have some friends that we sometimes visit and you litterally can’t see in their house because they keep the lights off all the time. I find her house to be a bit dreary because of this so we don’t visit too often. Last month my power bill was $196 for a 5,300 sq ft house and theirs was $150 for a 1,200 sq ft house so I think it has more to do with how energy effieciant your home is. We have a log home and they have a stick built cracker box that was built during the housing boom. They even heat with a wood stove but when your house is made of paper, there’s not much room to save.

CC

February 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

I just counted and we have 68 can lights that burn most of time so I find it hard to believe they suck that much energy.

JOD

February 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

@CC – I heartily agree. I can tell a huge difference in our new house vs. the old one. Even though it is twice as big, the heating/cooling costs are only slightly higher because the quality and materials are so much better. Add to that buying compact fluorescents, etc., and we are doing our best :o)

JOD

February 8th, 2011
3:39 pm

@CC – The ones we replaced were 65W and we changed to 10W, a power reduction of 85%. The old 65W bulbs were putting off a ton of heat, even after just a few seconds. Multiply that out, and I have to believe it makes a difference.

Techmom

February 8th, 2011
4:28 pm

I actually thought about getting one of those individual outlet meters to try and figure out what really sucks the most energy and if it’s worth really cutting the power on things with clocks (like my coffee pot). I definitely am not unplugging microwave or oven since they’re built into the cabinets or the DVR since I want it to record stuff.

Honestly though, with 3 refrigerators, 2 freezers, a wine chiller and a kegerator, my guess is that the coffee pot is the least of my worries. One of the refrigerators is on its way out but I still don’t think it’s going to make that big of a difference.

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CC

February 8th, 2011
4:40 pm

JOD – because of the logs (house is darker), we have to use the 60 watt bulbs but I still don’t think they’re using much. Like Techmom, we have 2 refrigerators, 3 coke machines and a freezer. My husbands air compressor most likely uses the most energy of anything we have. My dish washer runs 2 hour cycles no matter what we change the setting to so it may use a good bit too. Also, the power company will come out (for free) and give you a run down on just what it all cost. It also helps to put the baby plugs in your outlets to keep cold air from seeping in.

Wow, CC...

February 8th, 2011
4:44 pm

…that $196 ‘power’ bill for 5300sq. ft. is impressive, but only if it included your furnace being all electric, too, with no gas bill to be added to it…

JJ

February 9th, 2011
8:54 am

Well I went home last night and looked, and YES I can turn my DVR OFF. I use the remote control, and it shuts the whole thing down!!

CC

February 9th, 2011
11:46 am

Wow, CC…- Total electric other than gas ignitors on our fireplaces. I could be a spokesperson for log homes and engery savings haha