Are you watching a web-enabled TV while browsing on your smartphone with your laptop nearby? Think about unplugging! Because you’re wasting energy, money AND heating up the planet. Hello everyone, tech addict Amy with you today on DNews. Odds are you’re watching this on a computer or phone that you plug in but rarely, if ever, powerdown. Well, listen up, because perpetual “stand-by” mode is really not a good thing! As we become more connected and more dependent on all the latest gadgets and appliances, we’re inadvertently using electricity when we don’t need to. This includes computers that have a “sleep” mode, DVRs that sit idle waiting to record the next “Game of Thrones,” that silly clock on your microwave and your plugged-in, fully-charged laptop. For most of these appliances, they draw power from the mains simply because they’re plugged-in and not because they’re doing anything useful.
In a study of Northern Californian households carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council, researchers found that 23 percent of residential energy consumption was coming from idle devices. On average in these homes, there were 65 such devices. Roughly a quarter of all energy use comes from appliances and devices that aren’t currently doing a thing. This may not sound like a lot, but the study crunched some numbers. Assuming that the whole of the United States has a similar addiction to useless machines plugged into the wall, we, as a nation, consume an extra 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year — that’s the equivalent power consumption of Alabama and Arizona for 12 months! If there were powerplants dedicated to keeping idle devices on standby mode, we’d need 50 large (500-megawatt) stations to make that happen.
Obviously, there’s a cost. This excess energy use translates to approximately 19 billion dollars per year, which averages out to about 165 dollars per US household per year. But the cost isn’t just financial, it’s environmental. Idle electronics account for 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — that’s nearly 5 percent of carbon dioxide generated by the US residential sector per year. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, so it stands to reason that if households would just unplug their electronics while they’re not being used, another source of the greenhouse gas can be limited. So unplug your devices! Turn off your power bars! And be be aware of how much you actually need your computers. Odds are, you shut a lot of things down, save yourself some money, and help the planet. And if you’re super keen, why not get in on the ground floor and help develop the tech that will help save our environment! Tech innovations are constantly changing our lives.
Full Sail’s Simulation & Visualization degree program was designed to create future engineers who will develop systems for the twenty-first century. All of Full Sail’s Web & Tech programs are designed specifically to flex as new methods and applications unfold, allowing students to remain relevant and informed throughout their entire academy journey. To learn more about these programs, and all of Full Sail’s technology degree programs, visit fullsail.edu/DNews. So electronics are a culprit, but what else in our houses are damaging the environment? Trace has the rundown in this video right here. So with some new knowledge, will you be changing your device habits? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe for a new episode of DNews every day of the week..