Phantom Loads: They are Everywhere

Larry Magid of the New York Times thought he was good about energy conservation until he took a Kill-a-watt meter to his home electronics, and was shocked. His PC drew 134 watts all night long, his DVD player 26 watts, and his stereo system 47 watts, all on idle or sleep mode. He notes that the Department of Energy estimates that in the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants, the government says.

His recommendations: install CO2 Saver software on the computer, unplug external power supplies, or if you are getting a new computer, get 1) a notebook; 2) a new low voltage processor or 3) an iMac; a 17" version draws only 45 watts. ::New York Times

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