Phyllis Theermann

Making a difference is as easy as…

  1. Conservation
  2. Efficiency
  3. Renewable

This month’s conservation top tip comes from the Bender family.

The Benders save over $4500 each year from energy conservation and efficiency which makes it easy to justify spending less than $10 per month to power their home with 100% renewable electricity through Wellesley’s Renewable Energy Program.

All too often electricity is framed as energy = money, but there are more reasons to use electricity efficiently and other contexts to motivate action.  One of the hot political topics is how to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in government spending.  When it comes to our home electricity use reducing waste, fraud and abuse is one of the easiest and most rewarding places to start.  The Bender family was able to reduce electricity use 21% by reducing “always on” power, or vampire energy, by unplugging or using a power strip to shut off electronics:

  • Stop Waste by unplugging Infrequently used equipment – This is a great opportunity to unplug or use a power strip.  Something as innocuous as a treadmill,  can use more “off” than a table lamp “on” for 8 hours.
  • Eliminate Fraud – Is your cable box pretending to be “off” but still using power?  A DVR cable box will use more power in 12 hours switched “off” with a button  than a 55-inch LED TV uses in 3 hours “on”.  Use a power strip or timer to switch off your entertainment electronics
  • Reduce Abuse from computer peripherals – Don’t waste your time with cell phone chargers when a laser printer can use as much electricity in “standby” as 100, plugged-in, cell phone chargers.

Kill-A-Watt Meter

How do you know if your electronics are wasting power? Some small electronics like phone chargers, battery chargers, cable boxes can be checked by touch; if the electronics are warm, they are using power.  Larger electronics like a printer or audio/video require a power meter like the Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the electricity usage.

How much electricity can you save by reducing “always on” power use? – Many homes can save 10% by using a few power strips.  That is enough savings to offset the cost of 25% renewable energy.

Take Action:

  1. sign out a Kill-A-Watt meter from the library
  2. Learn more about various electronics standby power in your home
  3. Apply your savings to Wellesly’s Renewable Energy Program