Is energy saving worth it?

I’m always finding people wanting to do their bit to save electricity… but some of the ways they do it don’t make sense to me. Further to that some of them are wrong and some of them don’t seem worth the trouble to me.

The following are things I have noticed or tips I have picked up over time.

  1. You don’t have to switch everything off at the wall. Electricity flows and if it has nowhere to flow to then it stops… If a device is doing nothing (and I do mean nothing) then it will consume no power. Kettle, toaster, electric heater for example all do nothing when not in use (unless you have something fancy with a screen on it).

  2. Turning off your ADSL router harms your connection speed. Your speed is negotiated between the box in your house and the exchange. The exchange tries to run you as fast as your line will take… but if your line keeps dropping out this is usually down to errors on the line which happen at your limit. As such it will slow your connection speed down to make sure your connection is more reliable. The more your turn it off the slower it gets.

  3. Never turn printers off at the wall. When you turn them back on they power cycle the cartridges wasting you more in ink than you probably saved in power. If it has a soft on/off switch use that instead.

  4. When running in standby it means your TV is ready to receive the guide updates as they are transmitted. Ever noticed your guide was not going as far ahead as it should. You probably left the TV off when the updates came round.

  5. Most devices are cheaper to run on standby than you think. Rough rule of thumb: for every 1 Watt of power it uses on standby you will pay £1 a year for it. So I am quite happy to pay £5 a year for having my TV guide up to date.

  6. Not everything uses what it says it will. Your TV might say it uses 100 Watts on the back, but this will have been calculated on specific settings. If you turn your brightness down from those settings for example it will consume less power.

  7. The most expensive devices to run are those that produce heat or have to move something heavy. So electric oven, dishwasher, washing machine, grill, electric heaters, immersion heaters. If you have an economy 7 tariff then your electricity could be about half the price overnight (normally 12-7am or 1am-8am). Running your dishwasher, washing machine and electric heaters most during this time will save a fair bit.

Can anyone think of anything I have missed?

One comment

  1. Shaun Forsyth says:

    What about your boiler? I have mine set to run once a day during encom 7, This lasts mosts days with no problem. Meaning the thermostat doesn’t keep heating the tank during the day and costing more money than really required. Its worth pointing out that my hot water from the boiler, just runs hot water to the taps, as we have power shower. So this may not apply

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