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PostPosted: Fri May 23, '14, 12:30 am 
Interesting article here on the video game consoles and the electricity they may use:

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-e ... lectricity

Honesty, I never ever think about how much electricity stuff like this may use. I mean, of course I try to turn lights off if I am not using them, etc., but most of my TV's and other electrical items stay plugged up all the time, except if there is a bad storm coming or something of that nature. However, we do try and unplug some of our gaming consoles when not using them, if nothing else to move them out of the way, etc.

Anyone else concerned about this electrical usuage?


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, '14, 12:47 am 
I am, naturally. It's the price of convenience of having them on stand-by and basically ready to go, especially with voice commands in the case of the XBox One. It seems they consume more power in standby than anything else, just simply because it's in standby so much.

For our part, all our consoles (and the TV) are plugged into a power strip which we flip off at night and when we're not at home, so that the consoles only consume power when in use. The convenience of always on isn't worth paying the extra for electricity and consuming unnecessary power, and the carbon emissions and other pollution that goes with it. Especially when it only takes a minute of waiting for everything to be ready when we flip the switch on.


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Fri May 23, '14, 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, '14, 2:22 am 
I saw a similar article that said that consoles in standby mode use lots of power, and it doesn't surprise me. I've never put a console in standby mode, and now I probably never will.

Wolf Bird is right, it only takes a few seconds to power on most systems. If you can't wait that long then you've got problems.


Last edited by S4Blade on Fri May 23, '14, 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, '14, 11:52 am 
Nearly all my electrecity devices are ALWAYS on off when I'm not using them ! I don't want to spend any electricity if I don't need to :)


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, '14, 7:37 pm 
I'm actually having a free energy audit done on my house to try to figure out why my power bills are higher than I'd expect. I wouldn't be surprised if it's something like this that's sucking down power like a vampire at a blood bank when supposedly "idle."

It is dumb that my TV has an LED that is turned on when the TV itself is off and vice versa, but I guess there isn't much I can do about that as having to reach behind it to plug it in or flip the power strip or whatever is a royal pain. The only gadget I've got that I know is fully on 24/7 is my DVR, but that's kinda necessary as some of the stuff it records for me comes on at odd times. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the audit turns up other stuff that needs to be turned off/unplugged/etc.


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, '14, 3:42 pm 
Dragonmaster Lou wrote:I'm actually having a free energy audit done on my house to try to figure out why my power bills are higher than I'd expect. I wouldn't be surprised if it's something like this that's sucking down power like a vampire at a blood bank when supposedly "idle."

It is dumb that my TV has an LED that is turned on when the TV itself is off and vice versa, but I guess there isn't much I can do about that as having to reach behind it to plug it in or flip the power strip or whatever is a royal pain. The only gadget I've got that I know is fully on 24/7 is my DVR, but that's kinda necessary as some of the stuff it records for me comes on at odd times. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the audit turns up other stuff that needs to be turned off/unplugged/etc.


Ugh, high power bills. It could have something to do with idle game consoles and other electronics. There's a reason we have most of our big electronics in power strips to easily switch everything off in one shot.

Though, it's also pretty likely that your high power bill is due to poor insulation. If you have electric heat or run air conditioning, poor insulation allows easy heat exchange between your house and the outdoors, and make temperature regulation, whether heating or cooling, inefficient and a HUGE energy hog. There's a lot of natural gas heating in this area of the US, and because most of the buildings are so poorly insulated, gas bills for heating hugely spike in the winter, so the same applies no matter how you heat your home. The amount people all over the world could save on energy consumption/expenses and related pollution and carbon emissions is HUGE if only we'd insulate our buildings.

As I'm getting a degree in this sort of thing, I'm willing to admit I'm kind of interested in hearing about the results of your audit.


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Sat May 24, '14, 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, '14, 7:35 pm 
Audit is taking place today.

As far as poor insulation being the problem... we have oil heat and central air. The central air conditioning could related to high power usage in the summer but not so much in the winter, I think. Then again, the blower fan in the oil furnace does use power, so who knows.

The thing is, we had a bunch of insulation added to our attic a few years back and it did at least lower our oil bills, so I think the insulation probably isn't that much of a factor. It's possible that even with adding insulation to the attic, it may not have been enough. We'll see what the auditors say.

For the rest of you, look up your electric/gas/etc. company's web site and see if they offer (or link to someone who offers) free energy audits. If you live in Massachusetts in the USA (like I do), MassSave.com does the audits. I'm sure other states and/or countries probably have similar services available.


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, '14, 1:23 pm 
You live in MA? Cool. :) Some companies don't just offer audits, but also offer various incentives like tax rebates and financial assistance for energy-saving home improvements like adding insulation and other changes. Some companies also offer solar evaluations and assistance with investing in a home solar array.

Good luck on your audit! Hope it'll be helpful in figuring this all out.


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, '14, 3:20 pm 
Yeah, didn't notice until just after I posted that you were a MA resident too. :)

Anyway, the audit came back and the results were mostly good and not quite what I expected.

First, apparently the electrical bill we got wasn't so crazy high. We got the impression that it was high because our electric company sends out regular letters comparing our usage to that supposedly of our neighbors. The audit folks said those letters are incredibly inaccurate since many of those so-called "neighbors" may be "grandmas who only turn on the TV for an hour a day and hardly ever use power at other times." In fact, the auditor said that our house was actually pretty efficient.

That's not to say that he didn't find areas for improvement. First, he gave us free replacement CFL light bulbs to replace some traditional bulbs in our house. To be honest, I was gonna replace those bulbs eventually, but I hadn't up until now since we rarely used those particular fixtures.

Second, he gave us a new smart power strip for our TV. It had a clever design where only a couple of the outlets were powered on 24/7 (for DVRs and similar gadgets) and the rest were all controlled by whether a gadget in a specially marked "control" outlet (usually used for a TV) was on or off.

Third, and you called it here, he did find that while our house was fairly well insulated, there were a couple of areas where the insulation was lacking -- enough that we could save at least $100/year by improving the insulation in those areas. Needless to say, we're going to get those areas looked at.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, '14, 2:45 am 
Not surprised on the insulation being an area of improvement. If it's small-scale, spray foam might be perfect for your house. Glad the audit went well and you got CFLs. They are a lot more efficient than the standard bulbs.

If you don't mind me asking, where in MA do you live?


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