Save on your electricity and water: handy tips

Most appliances in your home don't need to run 24/7 ― in fact, leaving them on can cost you a pretty penny. Here are some handy tips to cut your power and water usage so that you can save on your electricity and water.

Save on your electricity and water: handy tips
  • Some appliances use more power than others even when doing nothing.
  • Here's an estimate of how many watts some common appliances use on average even when turned off.
  • Portable stereo: 1 – 8
  • Component system: 1 – 16
  • DVD player: 1 – 13
  • 5 battery chargers: 1 for each battery
  • Printer: 4 – 6
  • Cable box: 5 – 25
  • Modem: 4 – 20
  • Satellite system: 10 – 20
  • Television: up to 23
  • Computer (sleep mode): 1 – 6
  • Monitor (sleep mode): up to 15

Water-use monitor

  • Outdoor water saver products, like water meters, are an easy, inexpensive way to monitor your outside water usage.
  • Simply attach a meter to the end of your garden hose and it will tell you how much water you're using outside.
  • The meter will monitor water usage up to 380 litres (100 gallons).
  • Just remember that when you turn off the water, the gauge starts over at zero.

Check your computer

  • Some computers draw as much as 250 watts, almost as much as an energy-efficient refrigerator.
  • To rein in your power-hungry processor, set your machine to go into "sleep" or "hibernate" mode when left unused for more than 30 minutes.
  • For more savings, turn off the processor, monitor, printer and speakers if they won't be used for more than two hours.
  • Cycling your computer on and off will not damage the system.

Use a digital meter reader or a plug-in meter

  • Plug-in meters that measure single devices.
  • Simply plug the unit into the wall, then connect the appliance to the meter.
  • The meter will tell you the operating cost of any household appliance per day, week, month or year.
  • A meter can show you how much money you can save with upgrades to older appliances.
  • Digital meter readers measure whole-house electricity use.
  • These meters attach to your meter or panel box to provide real time and average usage/cost information.
  • To find out how much all your energy vampires are costing you, turn off all your lights and unplug your refrigerator, then check the monitor.

Pull the plug

  • If an appliance has an indicator light, touch screen or feels the least bit warm to the touch, it's using power.
  • You can't unplug everything, but pulling the plug on a few items, such as the coffeemaker, battery chargers and DVD player, can save as much as turning off a light.

Strip stop

  • Surge protectors enable you to turn off multiple devices with one switch.
  • Some surge protectors automatically shut off peripherals when the main unit, such as your computer or TV, is turned off.
  • Others have "always on" receptacles for satellite boxes, modems and wireless routers.

Read the fine print

  • Manufacturers don't usually include standby power info on the box.
  • Choose appliances with fewer bells and whistles.
  • Also look for items that are tested and certified as energy efficient.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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