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Reducing Wasted Computer Power Costs

We have all done it and may even do it often, or even all the time. We leave the computer running for hours or even days when we are not using it. Perhaps we were working on a project or just did not want to go through the boot up process, but regardless of our reasons, our computer, monitor, printer, sound system, external drives, scanners and other peripheral devices sit quietly in the background consuming power, even if we do not use the computer for days.

Kill-a-Watt - computer power, wasted, power costs, computer, monitor, printer, peripherals, sound system, external drives, scanners, consuming power, energy saving, smart strip

To put things into perspective, I hooked up a Kill-A-Watt device in line with the main power to my entire computer system to see what my system draws under normal use. With the computer on and all peripherals activated, the system consumes an average of 171 watts. I then turned off the computer to see what remaining power was being consumed in the background. The watt readings on the Kill-A-Watt dropped to 52 watts. I then turned off all my peripherals manually and ended up with a final reading of 16 watts which was being used by my UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) which is the one thing that must maintain a charge.

Using a base of normally having the computer system turned on for 8 hours a day, let's look at both the typical level of waste and also the extreme level of energy waste.

  • Typical Example - Since the computer system used 52 watts when turned off and since my UPS uses 16watts and needs to stay on, the power wasted by the peripherals in the background is 36 watts. If the system is normally inactive for 16 hours a day, the average waste for the year would be 16 watts x 16 hours x 365 days = 210,240 watts per year. We divide this by 1000 to get 210.24 KWH (kilowatt hours). At 12 cents per KWH, the yearly waste is $25.22.
  • Extreme Example - If, after using the computer system for the average 8 hour period of the day, you failed to shut down the system half the time, the total wasted power and associated costs would be: 171 total watts - 16 watts used by UPS = 155 wasted watts x 16 hours x 182 days = 451,360 watts. We divide this by 1000 to get 451.4 kilowatt hours. Meanwhile, even when the computer system was turned off, the peripherals were still chugging away, so we add in half the total of KWH from the 'typical example' detailed above, for a total of 556.52 wasted KWH . At 12 cents per KWH, our yearly waste is $66.78.

Bear in mind that these examples are only for one computer and can be multiplied for the number of computers you have in your home. Since we all love using our computers, that power is normally well used, but to waste power with our computers is totally unnecessary and can be fixed by doing two things:

  • Pick up a Energy Saving Smart Strip that monitors when your computer is running and detects when you shut it off. This device then automatically shuts down all your peripheral devices. The Energy Saving Smart Strip cost about $39.00 and will easily pay for itself within a year or two.
  • Turn the computer off each night or at the end of what your normal end of use may be. Make it a point to at least turn the computer off, knowing that the smart strip will take care of other things for you automatically.

7 Outlet Smart Strip Power Strip

The Energy Saving 7 Outlet Smart Strip SCG4 or SCG5, combined with your simple awareness to shut down your computer when not in use, will resolve wasted power issues with your computer and all its peripheral equipment.

 


10 Outlet Smart Strip Power Strip

The Energy Saving 10 Outlet LCG3, LCG4 or LCG5 Smart Strip, combined with your simple awareness to shut down your computer when not in use, will resolve wasted power issues with your computer and all its peripheral equipment.


The Rewards of Making Energy Efficient Choices (Softcover)

New energy guide directs your green efforts towards more practical improvements that reap the highest rewards. You'll discover why it can cost less to be energy efficient than not to be. - Softcover Edition

 

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