Computers, TVs, cellphones. All of these devices require electricity. In Indiana, our electricity is produced primarily by burning of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. By taking action to reduce the amount of energy our electronics consume, we can reduce both our energy costs and the harmful emissions like CO2 that are produced when fossil fuels are burned.
What is energy management?
If all computers sold in the U.S. met ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to $1 billion each year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 1.4 million vehicles.
What can you do to reduce your energy use?
Buy energy efficient products. Visit the following websites to figure out how energy efficient each model is.
The Energy Star Program was developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy to help individuals save money on electricity and protect the environment. The Energy Star program includes both electronics and a wide array of other home appliances.
Electronic products must meet the most recent Energy Star Standard and comform to additional environmentally-friendly criteria to become EPEAT rated products. These criteria include:
- Reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials including cadmium, lead, mercury, etc.
- Use of recycled content material
- Ease of disassembly and recyclability at end of life
- Product longevity and life cycle extension
- Use of energy
- Availability of take back services at end of life
- Performance of the corporation
- Recyclability of packaging and reduction in toxic materials used
Other tips to reduce energy
- Buy a laptop or tablet instead of a desktop. Desktop systems use more energy.
- Remove screensavers and put your monitor to sleep or turn it off instead. Screensavers use the same amount of energy as an active screen, while sleep or off use far less energy.
- Enable power management setting on your computer. Set your monitor to sleep after 10 minutes or less of inactivity. Set your computer to sleep after 20 minute or less of inactivity.
- Use a "smart strip" to plug in your electronics controlled as a system like a desktop CPU, monitor and printer. The smart strip will turn off all the peripherals when the master device is turn off. Smart strips come in many forms including motion sensing and remote controlled.
- Unplug devices when they are not in use. Many devices like TVs continue to draw a small amount of power when they are in standby mode even when they are turned off.