Saving Energy

What uses more energy: tech toys, or AC that runs 24/7? On our first EcoSystm David and Patrick run an energy audit on everything from a desk fan to an HDTV, and take a close look at how ugly our energy bill is when we read the fine print.

It doesn't matter if somebody left the 50 inch LCD HDTV on all weekend in the Revision3 conference room, right? Guess again. We found our HDTV sucked down 380 Watts when it's left with the big blue 'No Signal Found?' screen on.

How did we figure that out? By plugging it into a Kill-A-Watt Watt meter. It's a nifty tool that measures the wattage consumed by any device (or group of devices) plugged into it. It can also give you the exact Voltage, Amperage and Frequency of the electricity in your home.

Plugging David's desktop machine into the Kill-A-Watt revealed some useful info if you want to save money: Running with the login prompt (and nothing else), the PC consumed 68 Watts. Putting it in standby, the consumption dropped to a single Watt.

The lesson? Turn it off if you're not using it!

Running those numbers thru this Energy Efficiency Evaluator helped us figure out how much cash we could save on our electrical bill... a few dollars here, a couple hundred dollars there... switching your bulbs to CF and turning your PC and HDTV and other devices can save you some serious cash.

Did we mention cash? You'll see the look on David's face when he finds out that our local electrical utility tripples his cost per Kilowatt when he exceeds the average consumption for his area.

And then there are appliances... you should definitely take a close look at the Energy Guide Labels when you're buying a new appliance... it's real simple: that AC unit that consumes 2200 Watts will easily outweigh the electrical consumption of all your tech toys if you leave it on 24/7... and the refrigerator, which is definitely on 24/7, eats a lot of juice, too!