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Electronics & Outlets

Why It Matters

Most devices use electricity even when they’re not turned on. The DVR is one of the worst offenders, using near full power when it’s not turned on or recording. In the U.S. in 2010, set-top boxes consumed approximately 27 billion kWh of electricity, which results in 16 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and costs households more than $3 billion each year. Of that energy, approximately 2/3 is used when the device is turned off – that’s $2 billion in wasted electricity every year. The average set-top box configuration in your house or apartment uses more electricity than a new refrigerator – costing an average of $54/year, $36 of which is wasted.

Top 5 Tips for Energy-Efficient Electronics

  1. Install a power strip to reduce wasted electricity. Electronics still use at least a small amount of electricity when turned off; by using a power strip that you can cut off, you stop power from flowing to the devices when they’re not on and can save 8% on your electric bill (on average, $100 - $200 per year).

  2. Buy Energy Star electronics, when possible. Energy Star-certified TVs, on average, are over 25% more energy efficient than conventional models, and Energy Star computers use 30-65% less energy than computers without the designation.

  3. Don’t stream movies and TV shows through your video game console. If possible use a dedicated media player like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or Roku – streaming movies through a PS4 or Xbox One uses 30-45 times more power than dedicated media players!

  4. Ditch the screensaver. Using a screensaver doesn’t save energy. Instead, utilize the sleep mode or other power-saving features on your computer to save as much as $30 per year on your electric bill.

  5. Browse the Internet on your phone or tablet instead of your computer. Your smartphone or tablet uses much less electricity than a laptop or desktop, with most smartphones costing around $0.50/year to power, a laptop costing over $8 to power, and a desktop costing over $28 to power.

Digging Deeper

Learn more about vampire energy use.

Learn more about why DVRs use so much electricity.

Learn how to estimate/measure your home energy use.

Find out more about Energy Star.

Find an Energy Star-certified product.

Learn how much energy your video game console uses.