Electric cooperatives can now share detailed information about power consumption for dozens of appliances and other devices typically found in the homes of their consumer-members.
Electronic devices used in the home are using more electricity, but consumers can save energy by using some items more efficiently. (Photo By: Fire Safety Council)
“Updated plug load data can help members understand the costs of running their home electronics,” said Brian Sloboda, a senior program manager for NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network. “The data can also help consumer-members make informed decisions about the types of units they buy and, when replacing an older unit, could actually produce real savings.” See the attachment at the bottom for plug load data.
CRN commissioned a review of nine categories of appliances and other consumer electronics in 2012. Spreadsheets developed from the results have recently been made available. Besides kitchen, laundry and home entertainment equipment, there is also a wealth of data on various types of home computer equipment and accessories.
“As we get more electronics in our homes and offices, the share of electricity they use continues to increase,” Sloboda said. “But there are some real success stories reflecting energy-efficiency design changes manufacturers have made with encouragement from utilities and consumers.”
The report includes usage patterns and power consumption for 17 types or sizes of televisions and 11 common accessories including cable and satellite control units, digital video recorders and digital video disc players.
Many of the gains in overall energy efficiency are a direct result of design improvements to reduce the amount of power consumed by various electronic devices in standby mode, Sloboda said. “The typical consumer loses between $75 and $100 a year in power costs for devices in standby mode.”
The new data also examines improvements in video game consoles and their effects on home energy use.
“Model units produced in 2010 or later do not draw any power when they are turned off,” said Sloboda. “But for models produced before 2010, you are using as much energy when it is in idle mode as you are when it is actively being played. One 2007 model actually uses more energy when it is in idle than it does when the kids are playing a game.
Idle Wattage Consumption – Many in-home devices use power while in the idle mode. Useful data on the watts used by over 63 different electronic s and appliances is available from the Lawrence Berkeley Labs at http://standby.lbl.gov/. Look for the link to “data ”, then access the summary table.