The dream of reducing our dependency on power feels a lot like the dream to have a paperless society. Rather than coming closer to that dream, we have developed an even greater dependency on paper. And in the same manner, we have an even more voracious appetite for power.
We can’t buy a child’s toy that doesn’t need 4 AA batteries and a wall wart. The removal of the headphone jack from smartphones means Bluetooth headphones that need to be charged.
Speaking of smartphones, they need more power than ever before. Regardless of how much battery power the modern laptop is rated for, you never see one in use at a coffee shop that is not plugged into a wall.
If reducing our power glut is the goal, we are headed the wrong way. Here are three tips for reducing your power consumption and save money:
Use Greener Options
The ATCO Group in Alberta provides electricity and natural gas and empowers people to make greener decisions about their energy usage. In deregulation zones, you don’t just have the choice of finding lower prices, you have the choice of greener options.
As Kermit the Frog would be the first to acknowledge; it’s not easy being green. And sometimes the more environmentally friendly option will be a little more expensive. If you can’t reduce your power dependency, at least reduce your power footprint.
Drive a Stake in the Heart of Vampire Energy
Your appliances and devices are drawing energy even when not in use. This ‘vampire energy’ accounts for up to 10% of your energy bill. If you have several things to charge at night, try putting them on a single power strip. In the morning, turn off the power strip. Another thing to do is unplug all appliances that are not in use or use a power bar with a timer that turns them off for you when you are at work or asleep.
Your computer is one of the biggest offenders, as it continues chugging away in the background as long as there is some process available to request resources. Computers schedule these processes even when the computer is asleep. These features can be turned off in settings. And be sure to set it so that the hard drive is put to sleep when not in use.
Make Smarter Choices About Energy Use
If you can use wifi in your car as opposed to LTE, that will use a lot less battery on your smartphone. When you are out and about, use wifi when possible.
While you are at it, turn down the screen brightness on all of your devices to save energy.
Use a space heater or fan when you only need to control the climate in a single room. It makes no sense to do the most expensive thing to the whole house when you only need it for a small space. It is not about cheating yourself out of needful things. It is about being smarter with the way you make them happen.