Power Smart electronic tips

Although some of the features enabled by standby power can be useful, take a quick look around your home and make some small changes to reduce your standby power consumption.

  • Unplug battery chargers as soon as the device is fully charged or when the charger is not being used. A battery charger draws power even when the device it is charging has been removed. Up to 50 per cent of the electricity drawn by a charger can be wasted as heat.
  • If you regularly use a number of battery chargers (for power tools, cell phones, or mobile devices), consider creating a charging station where all of the chargers are plugged into a single power bar to allow you to easily monitor their use and turn them all off at once.
  • When you are finished watching a movie or playing a video game, remember to turn off the DVD player, set-top box, or game console as well as the television. Left on, DVD players consume 5.0 to 19 watts, and set-top boxes (for cable or satellite reception) 11 to 59 watts. The average gaming system, when left idle, can use 90 watts of power, adding up to an extra $60 in electricity costs every year.
  • If you have home electronics that are used infrequently, such as a second TV, DVD player or audio system, plug them into a power bar that can easily be turned off to avoid standby power consumption. Roughly 40 per cent of all electricity used to power consumer electronics is used when the products have been turned off and are in standby mode.
  • An ENERGY STAR® certified computer uses 70 per cent less electricity than a model that does not have power management capabilities. When left inactive, ENERGY STAR® qualified computers enter a low-power mode and use 15 watts or less. ENERGY STAR® certified computers can reduce air-conditioning loads, noise from fans and transformers, and electromagnetic emissions from monitors, compared with conventional products.
  • Make sure to activate the power management features of your ENERGY STAR® certified computer and monitor (see the user’s guide for instructions). Let the equipment sleep; it only takes a few seconds for a computer to wake up when you return.
  • Turn off your computer when it’s not being used. In the case of computers, most electricity waste occurs when they are left on overnight, on weekends, or for extended periods of inactivity during the day.
  • Avoid using screen savers; they cause monitors to consume the same amount of power as when they are running normally. The best way to protect the screen and save electricity at the same time is to enable your computer’s power management feature to turn off the monitor after a certain period of inactivity.
  • Plug your home office equipment (computer, monitor, speakers, printer, scanner, etc.) into a power bar that can easily be turned off when the equipment is not in use.

Tips for TVs

Televisions are the most common electronic found in the home today and account for a significant portion of a home’s total energy use when in both on and off modes. Televisions continue to draw power (standby power) when in off mode in order to maintain certain functions such as channel memory and stored program commands. ENERGY STAR® certified TVs reduce the amount of standby power consumed to less than 1 watt of power while in off mode and up to 40 per cent less energy when in on mode.

  • Turn off your television and any other electronics such as DVDs or cable boxes when you’re not watching them. This helps avoid standby power consumption.
  • Turn on the power saving mode. Most new TVs have a power saving mode which can activated by the user.
  • Turn down the backlighting or brightness of your TV. By turning down the brightness, you can save energy and dollars on your next energy bill.

For more information on electronics, visit the Natural Resources Canada website.