Green Switch for Green Savings
Did you know that even after turning everything off in your home, you are still paying for electricity consumption you may be unaware of? If you’re like me, that should get both the frugal and green-friendly aspects of your personality all riled up.
Some scary facts for you:
- 8-10% of your home’s electricity consumption is due to appliances left in standby mode.
- A mobile phone charger uses 2 watts while charging a phone, 2 watts even when the phone is fully charged, and STILL 1.5 watts when the charger is plugged in without the phone.
- Home entertainment systems (TV, DVD, audio systems) are the worst culprits, sucking over 28 watts even when all the components are turned off or are in standby mode.
- Your stereo will use 23 watts while playing music, and 20 watts while left on but not playing music.
- On a grander scale, the Energy Saving Trust claims that appliances on standby produce 50 million tones of CO2 annually.
- Energy Saving Trust (a UK based organization) also claims that if one mobile charger per household is left plugged in, enough energy is generated (wasted, really) to provide power to 66,000 households for one year. Yikes.
When you plug in your phone or camera to charge overnight, it usually finishes charging after about an hour. What about the other seven or eight hours you are sleeping?
Not to mention that as long as all these appliances are burning up power, they’re also slowly but surely wearing and tearing. Turning them off – really off – when you aren’t using them is the best way to get more miles out of your purchases.
Go around your home and look for lights. You know – the little LED lights that indicate something somewhere is plugged in. They’re on chargers, power bars, DVD players, stereos, coffee makers, and various clocks around the house. All those little lights indicate that power is being used up, and most of the time unnecessarily.
But let’s think practically here. Going around the house at night or whenever you leave and unplugging everything isn’t going to happen. Heck – the backaches alone from reaching and craning around furniture to access well-hidden outlets will cost you more in medical bills in the end!
Seriously though, there are now products on the market to help reduce excessive power consumption. One of them is called the Green Switch. Their product was originally designed for the hotel/hospitality industry, which saw an energy cost savings of 25-45% as a result. So the next logical market became the consumer one.
How it Works
From what I can tell, it involves a relatively simple installation of the green switch in place of one of your outlets. It then sends a wireless signal to other outlets, light switches, and thermostats in your home to turn the power off at the source when the green switch is activated.
Installation takes under an hour and if you are comfortable with changing an outlet or light switch, this would be a piece of cake.
Every home is different, so there is no standard cost across the board for this product. If you are interested in knowing how much it would cost you specifically, they will email you a quote based on information you provide about how large your home is and what sorts of appliances you have.
The only indication of cost is a mention of “payback in about 1-2 years” on their website. The payback comes in the form of energy bill savings. It seems like a long break-even period to me, but then again if you are installing a system like this it is for more than just frugal reasons; there is an environmentally-friendly component to this that holds weight too. And once you’ve broken even, it’s all gravy from there.
Enviroplug is a UK-based company that also has a line of products similar to the Green Switch, which help eliminate phantom power drains to help you save money and reduce your negative impact on the environment.
I have not personally tried either product (it’s a long story!), so I cannot personally endorse them any more than to say I have researched them and am impressed with the product offering.
If you want to go green and reduce your expenses in the meantime, now you have yet another solution at your fingertips. All you have to do is take the first step.