Darke County Solid Waste Management District
Darke County, Ohio
Krista K. Fourman, Director ~~~Melissa L. Werling, Adm. Asst.
684 Wagner Ave; Suite C
Greenville, OH 45331

937-547-0827~~~ 937-547-1496 (fax)

Using it Once is Never Enough.

Are You Throwing Electricity Away?

Power Plant

Are you paying more for your home electricity than you'd have to? Did you know the electricity your home electronics and appliances suck out of the power grid when you're not using them?

If your a conscientious user of appliances and electronics, you always turn them off when you're not using them. But some equipment doesn't actually turn all the way off -- it continues using "standby power." Some features that require standby power are such things as internal clocks and sensors, battery rechargers and power-conversion packs, communications between a base unit and a portable unit (as in a portable phone).

Although exact figures on total losses to standby power are not available, but the most recent major survey on the subject estimated that in the United States, 5% of electricity usage is due to standby power. The amount of standby power wasted varies among electronic equipment, but overall, the cost to consumers and businesses for all the electricity lost to standby power in the US is estimated to be $4 billion annually.

Not all of this power is truly wasted -- after all, many of the features in modern electronics that require standby power are either critical for proper functioning of the unit, or are associated with special features. Most wasted standby power is consumed by inefficient power supplies and components that are getting power unnecessarily. Depending on the efficiency of your unit's design, the standby power use can be minimal or substantial. Even though home electronics aren't typically the biggest electricity users in a house, standby power can still cost you up to 10% of your electric bill.

The US EnergyStar program has done a lot to empower consumers by providing energy efficiency ratings for various categories of electronics. To get the EnergyStar label, products must meet stringent energy-efficiency criteria. So, when you shop, make sure the product is EnergyStar-rated. For some categories, such as refrigerators and freezers, there will also be a numerical efficiency rating that can help you further narrow your choice. For more information on EnergyStar ratings, visit the following website: www.energystar.gov

The Darke County Solid Waste District wants to help you go green and save on utility costs. We'll help you determine which of your appliances are worth keeping plugged in, even when not in use. Simply connect your appliances to the Kill-A-WattEz monitor available at the district, and it will count and display consumption by the Killowatt-hour. Contact Krista or Missy at the Darke County Solid Waste District by calling 937-547-0827 for more information on your unwanted, inefficient electronic equipment or to borrow the Kill-A-WattEz.

Information contained in this article was taken from www.grinningplanet.com, issue #98.



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