NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Energy Saving Applicances

Energy Saving Appliances

            At the top of many Christmas wish-lists is an appliance, TV or electronic game which is powered by electricity. Carl Pedersen, NDSU Extension Service energy educator reminds us that every appliance or electronic device purchased has two prices associated with it - the original purchase price and the price of operating the device. . Many people shop for the lowest-priced item but do not take into account how much that particular appliance or electronic device could cost them each year in utility costs.”

            Examples of an energy hungry appliance are video games.  They may not be what most people think of when calculating electricity usage, but at least one video gaming system is found in 40 percent of the homes in the United States. Some video games will use more electricity than the home’s refrigerator. Compare Nintendo’s Wii use of 16 watts of electricity in the active mode, while the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) draws an average of 150 watts of electricity in the same mode.

            In addition, gaming systems often are not sold with energy-reduction “sleep” modes that activate when the game is still on but not being played. On those systems, if the user fails to activate the energy-saving mode or shut the game off, it still draws a significant amount of electricity.

            Televisions are another frequently overlooked source of electricity usage.. Many people are purchasing plasma televisions; some draw as much as 500 watts of electricity while in use. Televisions also have standby power usage. The standby power is the power used when the set is turned off. For the remote control to work, the television constantly needs to be using electricity.

            Numerous Web sites provide energy consumption results of appliances to help people select the most energy-efficient items. Plus, most home appliances will have an EnergyGuide label that lists the average amount of energy the appliance will consume in a year and the average cost for that energy. To see an example of a label and learn how to read it, visit http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/energyguide.html.

            However, EnergyGuide labels are not required on home electronics. To find the most energy-efficient home electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR label.  ENERGY STAR is a continually updating rating system that labels a particular appliance or piece of electronics as being energy efficient.

            For example, an ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerator will be at least 15 percent more efficient than the current federal requirements. It also will be 40 percent more efficient than the typical model sold just 10 years ago.  The ENERGY STAR Web site at http://www.energystar.gov has information on the majority of appliances.


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