Recently there’s been increased debate about ‘vampire’ chargers and devices; you know the ones that suck away your energy while you’re sleeping. The imagery is obviously highly dramatic, and we’ll refrain from any Twilight gags, but while we’ve become more aware of the small power sucking traps – like leaving our TVs on standby – we’ve neglected the real menaces.
Well, what are these ‘real menaces’?
The truly malevolent, vicious power sucking devices are the big, and as we view them, vital appliances; heaters, air conditioning units, fridges etc. We all know that they’re gas guzzlers, but don’t like to dwell on the reality, as deep down, we’re aware that we’re sadly wedded to them. While its easy to pat ourselves on the back for unplugging our cell phone charger, or switching off the TV, it’s slightly more difficult to entirely jettison our fridge in the name of the saving the environment.
However, it’s not all bad news…
General Electrics, who know a fair bit about energy consumption, have created a website, and a handsomely designed website at that, that demonstrates just how much each household appliance consumes in terms of energy and dollars in the average American house.
The site poses four questions: how much power does each appliance use in watts, how much does it cost in dollars, how much in gallons of gas, and what does one kilowatt hour yield for each appliance? These questions reveal some interesting statistics, or facts with which to bore people at dinner parties, depending on your point of view…
For example, the appliance which consumes the most energy is a heater, which uses 17, 221 watts. The most expensive appliance, as well as biggest gas guzzler is an air-conditioning unit, which costs $800 a year to run and 398 gallons of gas. However, the most efficient appliance is the humble answer phone, which records 60,000 messages per kilowatt hour.
The GE site also includes information on the most energy efficient appliances, and demonstrates their value for money – how quickly these Energy Star appliances pay for themselves, through reduced utility bills, and operating costs.
So before buying any new ‘must have’ appliances, visit the website to do your research – in the long run you’ll save on energy consumption and cash.