August 16, 2017

Green Light to Hidden Energy Costs?

I have often thought that the little green lights on the computers, monitors and printers in my home office were handy little night lights but today I started seeing them differently. Warren Swil writes in the Los Angeles Times Opinion Section about the tremendous amount of energy that is wasted by leaving appliances on in what is commonly called sleep mode.

In June 2005, British Environment Minister Elliot Morley reported that electrical equipment in sleep
mode used enough energy per year to emit about 800,000 tons of carbon. That’s just for the 60 million or so Britons; multiply by five for the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that by 2010, the portion of each utility customer’s bill consumed by appliances in standby mode will reach 20%.

The article goes on to suggest doing an inventory of your home to see how many of those little green, red and blue lights are glowing day and night. I did a quick survey of my house and found 17 lights including the answering machine and one each for the oven, microwave and DVD clocks. (I never even went upstairs where I would find at least two more clocks glowing red.)

Go ahead, read the article here and then go through your house and see how much those little lights are costing you and the environment.