Don’t let Global Warming “Just Stand By”

Getting savvy about standby power

By Noah Buhayar, Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org

Ever wonder how much electricity your household appliances use when they’re supposedly off—in “standby” or “ready” mode? Think of the clock on your microwave, your DVD player that’s on but not playing a movie, or the little sensor on the bottom of your TV that waits for a signal from your remote control.

It turns out that these “vampire” loads are gradually sucking away power—a lot of power.

An estimated 13 percent of household electricity use, according to a recent study published by the California Energy Commission, is from appliances in low-power mode (which is to say, not performing any of their primary functions).

Standby mode, the least amount of energy an appliance can use without powering down, is just one example. Many appliances have multiple low-power modes.

A DVD player, for instance, may have both a standby and sleep mode. Computers, as well, often save power by shutting down one or more components without turning completely off.

Read entire article.

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For more information about Global Warming, try Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis and What We Can Do by Ross Gelbspan.

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist comes a shocking expos of the forces that perpetuate the crisis of global warming–with a prescription for saving the planet. Ross Gelbspan was a longtime reporter and editor at the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, where he won a Pulitzer Prize. He covered the United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972, and addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998. The author of The Heat Is On, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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