Project Envolve™ is a program sponsored primarily by PPL Electric Utilities with the mission of helping us all save more and use less electricity. I’ve been provided with complimentary products as an Ambassador for the program in exchange for sharing these ideas and my own use of them with you. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
We all know you can save energy by shutting the lights off when you leave the room. But what about all the things we leave plugged in all the time? I am totally guilty of this and in an effort to reduce my energy bill, I went on a mission to figure out just what kind of juice my favorite appliance was sucking down: my laptop. Let’s see what I learned!
How much energy do your gadgets use?
This handy device is so simple to use. It’s called a Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and all you do is plug it into the outlet, plug your appliance or gadget into it, and it will monitor the energy use. There are a few different ways to measure here, but I focused on measuring kWh (that’s kilowatt hours) because that’s how we’re billed on our electricity bill.
So I plugged my laptop in through the Kill-A-Watt monitor and found out that it sucks down about .0275 kWh each hour. That’s .66 kWh every day. What if I turned if off the 8 or so hours I was asleep each night? That’s a savings of .22 kWh each day, or 6.6 kWh every month. I just got out my most recent electricity bill and this would mean a 1% reduction in my bill every month, just from shutting the laptop off at night! So it works out to about $1 a month. Not huge, but I’m talking about one laptop. What can I find when I start checking out some of my other appliances?
- DVD player
- Gaming systems
- My Keurig!
I’m going to check all of these out and see where I can take some very quick and simple steps to save a few bucks. It adds up! You can also check your electricity use while your appliances are in use. What’s the difference in kWh when you’ve got your hairdryer on high versus low?
How can you lower your energy use?
There are a few really simple ways to lower your energy use once you figure out what the juice suckers are. I’m definitely going to be shutting off my laptop at night! I’ve got a great graphic for you below, but first I challenge you to find some ways to do things you’d normally do with an electric device, without an electric device. Instead of breaking out the food processor, chop those veggies by hand, or better yet, try Hand Powered Food Chopper like this one.
Here are some other tips to save energy (and money!):
- Unplug your most wasteful ‘vampire’ devices when you’re not using them. Use a Kill-A-Watt monitor to figure out what they are, which appliances are sucking energy when they’re not even in use. Start with items controlled with a remote, plugged into an external power supply (like a charger), or the LED light stays on when they’re off.
- Plug your electronics into a power strip. Flip the switch on the strip when you’re not using it.
- Always try to buy ENERGY STAR-labeled devices. Did you know that consumer electronics accounts for 15% of your home energy use?
- Always turn off your gaming consoles when you’re done using them.
- Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. Screen savers don’t actually save any energy.
- If you do leave your computer on for a long period of time, put it in sleep mode. This can save up to 60% off the energy used!
- When you can, use the power saver settings on your laptop.
Do you have an energy saving tip? I’d love to hear it! And we want you to save energy too. So we’re giving away a Kill-A-Watt monitor to one lucky reader. This giveaway ends on February 24 and you can enter to win [HERE].
Good luck, and have fun saving energy and saving money!