Most people are aware that cutting down on energy usage can help save on costs and reduce impact on the environment. Whilst many manufacturers have taken giant leaps forward to produce much-improved, energy-efficient appliances, there is a growing concern that our love for gadgets is undoing any good work we might be doing in reducing energy consumption.
So how much energy do our gadgets use, and is there anything we can do to reduce consumption? A technology revolution The last few years have seen a massive shift in advances in technology, and it has fueled our addiction for all manner of gadgets, from smartphones to iPod, tablets, laptops and widescreen TVs. Whilst these gadgets have made our life easier, and more enjoyable, in many ways, they increase the number of electrical items we have in our home, pushing up our energy consumption. But just how guilty are these gadgets from guzzling energy? Reports have suggested that the electricity consumption of modern gadgets will double by 2022 and triple by 2030.
Energy consumption doesn’t just relate to how often we use the gadgets at home, or the regularity of which we charge them up, but it involves the energy use of the infrastructure that supports these technologies, as well. The energy required to manufacture these gadgets in the first place equally needs to be taken into consideration, and is actually much higher than the energy used during their operation.
How can energy consumption be monitored? How much energy your gadgets are consuming depends on a number of factors. For instance, it will differ according to the type of gadget, how often it is used, how often you charge it up, whether you leave it on or turn it off when not in use, and how you use it. You can work out how much energy a lot of your gadgets are guzzling by monitoring usage with a power meter. However, this only tells one side of the story. Figures to ascertain how much energy was consumed in the production of the gadget and its entire life cycle are hard to gauge.
The energy culprits Despite our love of electrical gadgets, the biggest energy eaters in the home are heating and lighting. Refrigeration, air-conditioning, washing machines and tumble dryers are also notable culprits. A fridge-freezer costs, on average, about $62 annually to run, an electric kettle costs £24 and a dehumidifier will push energy bills up by $76. In comparison, entertainment gadgets such as a plasma flat screen TV can cost $95 yearly to run. Laptops and computers cost on average around $35 to run, whilst TVs, DVDs, music systems and radios cost about $68. If you like your games consoles, then an average user might spend around $30 per year on energy to run these products.
If you add all of these figures up over a period of time for all of the different types of gadgets you own and use, then it can seem quite daunting. But is there anything you can do to reduce energy consumption? Energy saving tips One of the easiest, and most obvious, steps you can take to reduce energy usage of your gadgets is to turn them off when not in use.
Another strategy you might want to adopt is to always look for an energy efficient model when you are buying a new gadget. Not all gadgets will push your total energy usage up, because some may actually off-set other things you might have used. For example, by using your smartphone to check emails or search the internet, you may no longer need to power up your laptop to do these tasks. It is even argued that modern-day gadgets are much more energy efficient than some years ago, so the latest models are becoming even more environmentally-friendly to use. This article was written on behalf of Juice Electrical, providers of electrical supplies.