Turned-Off Electronics are Consuming Tons of Electricity

Turned-off electronics are using up tons of electricity. From The New York Times:

[...]Indeed, the Department of Energy estimates that in the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants, the government says. In an effort to address that, a consortium of Intel, Google, PC makers and other technology companies this week announced their intent to increase the PC’s overall energy efficiency to 90 percent.

Products that idle in what the industry calls low-power mode, or lopomo, consumed about 10 percent of total electricity in California homes, according to a 2002 study prepared for the California Energy Commission by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A few of those devices, even those with Energy Star ratings that signal that they are less wasteful, still use a lot of power. “Some of the larger big-screen TVs consume as much energy each year as a new refrigerator,� according to Noah Horowitz, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. [full text]

So while my computer is sitting here all night long, turned off, it is still using electricity? That just doesn’t seem right. As the article goes on to detail, Google and other big online corporations are pushing for more energy efficiency.

h/t Bullnotbull.com for the link.

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2 responses

  1. i’m guilty of that. before midsummers day i need to do an energy audit on my little apartment and check out what’s plugged in that doesn’t need to be.
    it’s a few cents a month for an individual, but if 300 million people do it it makes a difference.

  2. Donald Wolberg

    I still don’t know if it is better to turn a computer off, or let if run. How can it be that there is no clear answer available explaining the resoning. In a household with multiple machines with one or more cooling fans, other components and that little monitor light, a substanial number of watts must be consumed.

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