People who believe they are saving money by keeping their old electronic gadgets around instead of purchasing new ones are in for an unpleasant surprise. A recent study concluded that a household still using “legacy gadgets” uses the energy equivalent of what a car burned in fuel during the year 2007.
Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York used the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment database to come to the conclusion that consumers would be economically better-off if they purchased new devices such as TVs and phones rather than keep them around for the kids or relegated to upstairs bedrooms.
The following chart tells the story:
It seems that all we need to do is put our minds to finding solutions, and answers to important problems are discovered. Here are a few useful, clever, and most importantly, energy saving ideas for you to look at, understand, and perhaps even incorporate into your own lifestyle.
Meet Luci by MPowerd. This solar lamp will produce 12 hours of light around 15 square feet anywhere with absolutely zero emissions. Plus, its inflatable!
This keyboard is solar powered and wireless. You can throw away your batteries and keep this baby going with whatever light you are using to illuminate your workspace. Keeps its charge up to three months in the dark.
This device lowers electricity usage by turning off your unused appliances. You set an amount of time the device has sat idle before the outlet automatically shuts down energy flow. Eliminates phantom energy use.
Charging station for all your portable gadgets. Photo by Andrewlp1991
By now we all know what kind of phantoms are lurking about in our homes, right? Well, I am referring to phantom power, of course, which means the power that is sucked out of your home by appliances that, although are turned off, are still plugged in and wasting energy.
One way of dealing with this problem is carefully (and dare I say neurotically) unplugging every appliance when it is not in use. This means your phone chargers, stereos, TVs, computers, and a whole truckload of other gadgets from your bedroom to your kitchen.
I know, you already have enough problems remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room, so how can you be expected to unplug every device when it’s not in use? Luckily, due to some simple solutions, you don’t have to.
I don’t know about you, but I try and charge my cell phone and MP3 player overnight while I am asleep. This makes it pretty hard to unplug the charger after the phone is charged after about 4 hours or so. Charging stations either turn off when the phone is fully charged, or they can be pre-set to turn off after a certain amount of time. This is a great solution for this particular phantom.
Smart Power Strips
Are some of your appliances plugged into outlets behind furniture or other hard to reach places? Do you find unplugging appliances all over the house just a pain that you are more likely to forget to do than remember? Consider getting smart power strips which cut the power from anything plugged into it.
The money you save on your electric bill will soon cover the cost of these smart, convenient devices.
Occupancy/Vacancy Sensing Switch
Would you turn the lights off in a room you just left, if only you could remember? Does turning the lights back on in room you just left make you want to just leave the lights on all the time? Here is an answer that not only adds convenience to your life, but will help save you money. It is a switch that turns on the room lights whenever you enter, and turns them off when no activity in the room is detected. Sounds really cool, right?
It is called Lutron’s Maestro Occupancy/Vacancy Sensing Switch, and it can be installed throughout your home. Put the switch into closets, bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, or anywhere else lighting is installed. The device also detects ambient natural light, and will not turn on lights during the day when enough light permeates the room. Invented by the same guys who created the dimmer switch.
If everyone understood that thermostats controlled about half of their energy bill, they would pay more attention to the important role these devices play in their overall budgets.
A new device has recently been introduced which can not only cut the cost of heating and cooling our homes, but can do it in a convenient, easy to use, way.
Watch the following video and learn about the Nest Learning thermostat and how it can help you reduce the amount of energy and money you spend controlling the climate inside your home.
The Indian days of summer are here. You might not feel quite hot enough indoors to need the air conditioner, but you still might feel more comfortable a little cooler. For those in between days, a dehumidifier might be just the ticket.
Make sure to look for a dehumidifier that is certified with an Energy Star. These models use more efficient refrigeration coils, fans and compressors than ordinary models. That translates into less energy use for the same amount of moisture removal from the air.
A humidifier with an Energy Star endorsement takes out the same amount of moisture from the air as a comparatively-sized conventional unit, yet it used 15% less energy. The amount of energy an efficient humidifier saves each year is enough energy to run an Energy Star refrigerator for 4 months. Amazing.
IDT Energy is constantly considering new and better ways for consumers to save energy and save money, too.
Some energy savings gadgets are high-tech wonders; but others are the manifestations of the simplest ideas. But don’t let their simplicity fool you. Over time much energy and money can be saved by the following clever, but straightforward strategic ideas.
• Radiator Foil- Did you ever notice that the warmest place in your room is the space behind your radiator? Here’s an idea to get much of that wasted warmth back into the center of the room where the people are and where it belongs. Place a strip of radiator foil between your radiator and the wall, and voila! The heat is reflected back into the room. The foil gets a lot more of the warmth you are paying for to the place it belongs, next to you.
• Eco Flap- Perhaps you have a letter slot in your door or wall next to your door? If you do you have probably noticed that a lot of unwanted either cold or hot air (depending on the season) gets into your insulated house through this pesky opening. Well there is a simple product that can control much of this unwanted air flow. The Ecoflap letterbox cover replaces the brushes, seals or flaps on the inside of your letterbox, keeping unwanted air out of your house.
• Automatic radiator bleeder- Over time air can build up inside your radiator, making it less efficient at keeping your home warm. Until now it was necessary to frequently ‘bleed’ one’s radiators to allow the air to escape, making more room for the warm water circulating in the radiator’s coils. By installing a simple device which automatically allows the air to escape, heating efficiency is substantially improved. The automatic radiator bleeder can save families lots of energy and money, with no extra work.
Smart Power Strip can save lots of energy
Yes we all love our electronic appliances, but some of them are energy hogs. Not to worry. There are several cool gadgets around which can help consumers enjoy their toys without spending extra just to run them.
- Electricity monitors: The first step to saving energy is knowing how much you use. Just plug your device or appliance into the handy-dandy P3 Kill A Watt electricity monitor and you will immediately know how much electricity it consumes. Once you know how much each device and appliance is costing to run per hour, you can make some decisions about whether it’s time to upgrade your air conditioner, or use your home theater less often.
- Draft detectors: Black & Decker’s Thermal Leak Detector will help homeowners or apartment dwellers discover the weak spots in their insulation. Using an infrared thermometer that can detect small differences in temperatures, this neat device will help you improve your home’s ability to maintain the temperature your appliances work so hard to achieve.
- Smart power strips: Here’s a clever and simple way to save lots of energy. Since computers usually have lots of peripherals associated with them, such as speakers, printers, and more, they probably all stay plugged in and turned on all night and day, even when you turn off your computer. This power strip turns off all the peripherals at the same time that you power down your computer, saving lots of energy.
IDT Energy wishes consumers a great summer of energy savings.
Free Energy from the Sun for Your Batteries
Solar battery chargers are a great way to save time and money by making it possible to charge a large variety of devices from anywhere as long as the charger is all juiced up.
The convenience is amazing: you can load the charger either from the sun, from a wall outlet or from a USB port on your computer. Since the charge stays for as long as one year, you can take the charger with you and juice up your phone, MP3 player, e-reader, tablet, GPS, or camera no matter where you are.
Solar charges are fast, too. Charging at a similar rate as a standard battery charger, users can expect a typical smartphone to go from zero charge to full in just about three hours.
There are also solar chargers for large 12V batteries, like the kind used in cars, lawnmowers, tractors and boats, as well as solar powered chargers for Ni-Cd and Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
Save money and energy with easy to install double glazing
Enormous amounts of energy pass easily through windows, elevating the costs of keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Placing insulating curtains over the glass windows and doors can be a big boost. The best answer however, aside from simply not having windows, is to install double-glazing, or secondary glazing.
Since one of the best insulators is air, putting double panes in the windows creates a layer of air between them, adding a barrier similar to the warmth produced from a person’s own body heat when he/she wears a down jacket. Just think of double glazing as your window’s very own down comforter.
Double glazing can be expensive. There is a way to cut down costs which is easy, and that is using magnetic secondary glazing. There are places on-line where consumers can send their windows dimensions and receive a made-to-order glass held inside of a frame which comes with a removable magnetic strip. The glass is cut to size and sent to the customer ready to install.
IDT Energy encourages consumers to think about energy saving ideas and utilize them whenever possible, to save money and resources.