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Sunday, 6 January 2013

What ya gonna bust? Ghost Power!

Nostalgic for the movie? Yearning to cut your power bill without renovating? The best way to do that is to stop 'ghost' power drainage (or phantom power). Every appliance in your house can drain power when pluged in EVEN when turned off! If an electronic has a clock or, my favourite, a light that demonstrates that it is turned 'off' - that electronic is draining energy. Up to "40% of the energy used to power consumer electronics is devoured when the devices are switched off." (MacEachern, 321)

I've even read that, depending on the appliance, it could be more like a 75% of the energy used. This is like a leaking faucet that you can't see! I hate feeling like I'm being duped. So I'm going to start 'busting' the slimer I call 'ghost drainer'. When I looked around just my kitchen I saw 5 digital clocks on five different appliances! No one needs to know the time that badly! Next time I replace one of these appliances I will look for a model that does not display the time. As for now - I'm just going to unplug these items when not in use.

Other than the kitchen - the next room that had the worst ghost drainage was the entertainment area. Here we have the TV, cable, internet, printer and computer pluged into 24/7. Each of these items have lights to let me know if they're on, off, or on 'power saving mode'. Now we have to keep the router up and running so our wireless can work - but the rest do not need to be lit up.

Here I am going to use power bars, or power strips, and simply switch off the bar when not in use. A power bar uses a flip switch to simply cut the power to whatever is plugged into it so you don't have to get on your hands-and-knees to unplug everthing from the wall. These are small changes - but they make me feel good.

* MacEachern, Diane. Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World. New York: Penguin, 2008.

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