For individuals there are two sides to the energy efficiency coin.
One is changing lifestyle to reduce consumption (e.g. using less heat in winter, doing without air conditioning in summer).
The other is improving energy efficiency by reducing the energy used for any given activity.
This site concentrates on the latter, and deals with the efficiency of common electronic products found in the home.
Unlike larger electrical devices such as refrigerators or washing machines, most electronic devices provide no information on their electrical efficiency within the main product description.
This means that the consumer considering which product to purchase must look the information up on the manufacturer's website, or on one of the many consumer information sites which concentrates on green issues.
Power consumption is specified for most electronic devices, at least within the detailed specifications, but it can be difficult to find and does not necessarily give information on power in different modes and in standby.
For products that you already own, there are relatively easy ways to measure their power consumption.
Go to the Power Measurement page for more information.
The current generation of games consoles is represented by the Microsoft XBox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii.
Because these devices can be switched on for long periods, the electricity cost of using them can be significant.
Typical power consumption:
|Power in game play||Power in Standby|
|XBox 360||180 watts||less than 2 watts|
|PS3||190 watts||less than 2 watts|
|Wii||18 watts||less than 2 watts|
Although all three consoles have similar (and quite good) standby consumption, the Wii has dramatically lower consumption in use. For frequent players this could represent a major energy and cost difference.
The recent changes in television technology have not, as yet, caused reductions in power consumption. The old technology (CRT) and the newer ones of LCD and Plasma offer similar power consumption for a given screen area.
A useful rule of thumb is that power consumption is around one third of a watt per square inch of screen area. Thus a 42" TV will use around 70% more power than a 32" one.
Typical power consumption for larger screen TVs:
|Power when On||Power in Standby|
|28" CRT TV||120 watts||circa 10 watts|
|32" LCD TV||160 watts||less than 2 watts|
|42" Plasma TV||270 watts||less than 2 watts|
The big improvement here is in standby power consumption. Some manufacturers are now achieving standby power of below 0.5 watts. This can represent a useful energy and cost difference.
Common electronic products in the home - television, audio system and games console.
Energy Star @ Home