Google Energy Savings Calculator with Halloween Theme


Spooked by High Energy Costs?
Google has long been eco-conscious. From tips on how to save energy in data centers, to investments in plug-in cars and batteries and a fleet of PHEVs.

Its most recent initiative is an energy savings calculator with a Halloween theme. Read on for more details.Simple Tips to Save Money & Energy
The calculator can be found at the funny URL: www.google.com/hauntedhouse08/ and the Halloween theme is kept throughout. For example, "Ghosts: Hear that eerie moan? That's the sound of warm air escaping up your chimney." or "Zombies: Computers can feed on energy even when they're not in use."

The calculator itself is not very sophisticated, but they probably wanted to keep it simple to avoid scaring away people who are exposed to one for the first time. If you want to adjust the numbers for your own personal context, all of Google's assumptions are clearly explained on this page.

  • Fireplace Flue Dampers: The California Energy Commission through its Energy Quest website estimates that leaving the fireplace flue damper open can waste 8% of the average heating bill - which averages $1000 / year. Daliceux and Nicolas found that leaving the flue open can waste 30% of the heating and cooling energy from a well-insulated house. We took the median of these 2 data points and estimate that leaving the fireplace flue open increases heating and cooling costs by 19% or $190 / year.
  • Game Consoles: NRDC estimates that a PlayStation 3 or xBox 360 draws 120-200 watts (W) and can significantly exceed 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity over the course of a year; NRDC estimates that many users never power down these devices and thus suggests that simply by turning off these game consoles when not in use that you can save $100 / year. Other game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and older game consoles use less power - turning them off is still a good idea but the resulting savings will be smaller. For more details on energy consumption of game consoles check out this study conducted in Australia (remember to convert costs from Australian dollars).
  • Programmable Thermostats: ENERGY STAR estimates that using a programmable thermostat saves $180 / year - $120 off the heating bill and $60 off the average air conditioning bill.
  • Computer Power Management: Climate Savers Computing estimates that the average computer can save $60 / year by deploying power management. Google experts estimate that the range is $20-$60 in part because desktop computers consume more power than laptops. So we've taken the median and estimated $40 of potential energy savings by deploying power management settings.
  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs): ENERGY STAR estimates that CFLs save $30 over their lifetime. We assume an average life span of 5 years delivering energy savings of $6 / year / bulb.

They also give more tips on a second page that can be found here. You can also find even more ">tips for new homeowners here.

Via Google
More Energy Efficiency Articles
New Apple Macbook & Macbook Pro has Greener Energy Saver Icon
Frugal Tips for New Homeowners also Happen to be Green
Google to Data Centers: Raise the Thermostat

Tags: Electricity | Energy | Energy Efficiency

Best of TreeHugger