Sample power usage

Below is a table of various household electronics, measured with a kill-a-watt power meter. There are a few things you can easily do to reduce your monthly electric bill. You'll notice from the table below that many electronic devices consume power even when switched off. For example, I measured several PC's, and even when off they typically consumed 3-7 watts of power (24x7x365 - it adds up!). PC speakers, DVD players, VCRs, stereos, cordless phones, and some TVs also consume power even when "off". This is know as "Vampire Power" – Wasted Standby Power.

I suggest that you plug your PC, printer, monitor, and PC speakers into a multi-outlet power strip and turn off the power strip when you're not using your computer. Just doing this would typically save 40-50 kilowatts of power a year.

Another easy way to reduce your electric bill is to switch to compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFL bulbs). For example, a regular 60 watt incandescent lightbulb can be replaced by a 14 watt CFL bulb. The 14 watt CFL bulb produces about the same amount of light as the incandescent bulb! Try and buy CFL's that are rated 2700K color temperature - these have a light that looks most like a regular bulb's. Home Depot sells CFL bulbs for $3-$4 (as of July 2006).

You can also see from the table below that window unit air conditioners use a LOT of power. If you're trying to cut back on your electric bill, use them sparingly.

Item Watts - on Watts - off
Netgear DS108 switch 2 0
Netgear GS605 switch 3 N/A
Linksys RT31P2 router 7 N/A
Motorola SB4200 Surfboard cable modem 2 N/A
21" monitor 91 1
19" monitor 87 0
Dell  1905FP 19" Flat Panel LCD monitor 31 0
iPod - 3rd generation (off and charging) N/A 2
Tivo - series 1 24 N/A
DVD Player N/A 3
PC Speakers N/A 1
Compaq P450 PC - built-in graphics 35 5
18 Cubic Foot Refridgerator 155 N/A
Small window unit air conditioner (circa 2005) 425 N/A
PC (amd xp chip) 100 6
Buffalo Airstation G54 wireless access point 3 N/A
Wide screen tv (48") 170 1
Epson R200 printer N/A 0