Take a byte out of electric bills.
Use computers and electronics efficiently.
- Unplug electronic devices when they're not in use. Some electronics, such as televisions, use up to 10 watts of energy when they're off and still plugged in.
- Unplug devices that use standby power, such as DVD players, video games, printers, scanners and set-top cable boxes.
- Some video game consoles, when left on continuously, can use the same amount of energy in a year as two new refrigerators.
- Use a power strip to plug in electronics.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR® home electronics. An ENERGY STAR television uses 30 percent less power than other models.
- LCD televisions consume less power than plasma or rear-projection models.
- When watching high-definition DVDs, use a standalone DVD or Blu-Ray player instead of a video game console, which uses five times the power.
- Shut down your computer if you're going to be away 2 hours or more.
- Plug your computer and peripherals into a power strip and shut them off using its on/off switch.
- Don't use screen savers. They use more energy. Plus, the newer LCD monitors no longer need them.
If you’re buying a new computer:
- Consider a laptop. Laptops use about 90% less energy than a desktop.
- Look for ENERGY STAR qualified computers, which must meet efficiency guidelines in three operating modes: active, standby and sleep. They also have energy-efficient power supplies.
- Purchase combination peripheral equipment, such as a combined printer/scanner, which uses one plug instead of two.
- Buy a flat screen monitor. It uses less energy and is easier on the eyes.
If you’re keeping your computer:
- Increase the RAM. RAM is inexpensive and relatively easy to install.
- Replace the hard drive. Newer hard drives allow for faster data access - a requirement for newer operating systems.
- Replace the video card. A new card increases the performance of graphic operations.
Now, take the ENERGY STAR pledge to make your home even more energy efficient.