What Tools And Tricks Do You Employ To Reduce Power Consumption?

We love technology, but we don't necessarily love the effects it has on our power bills. Sure, some regular unplugging can help, but aren't there better options? What do you do to cut down on power consumption?

Photo by Jukka Zitting

Herman Miller's Lifework blog suggests the usual unplugging routines, but we're betting you have some more creative tricks. Are there any special tricks you employ or tools you use to help reduce your power usage? Let us know in the comments.

Stop Wasting Energy and Unplug H[Herman Miller Lifework via Unplggd]


Comments

    Turn off ducted a/c at the breaker switch
    in the off seasons. Some of them have standby
    power usage of over 100w.

    Hmmm,.. Well the 2.5Kw of solar panels on my roof help a little... :}

    I use varying remote controlled (RF) home automation systems to turn off all power to the entertainment cabinet for example.

    The cabinet consumes 72W in total in standby mode alone and that's a lot of power to waste when you're not using it for a majority of the day.

      How much power does the automation system use in standby mode? ;) Seriously though, how much?

      Also, would you care to share the details of your system, how you set it up, how it works, etc?

      I just have an outlet timer for my printer (the outlet is hard to access) and manually turn off all my other entertainment/charging outlets at the wall whenever they're not in use. About the only things that stay on "standby" are the fridge, microwave, alarm clock and wifi modem.

      I've thought about getting a rainwater tank in our little courtyard -- the last few weeks of torrential rain would have gone a long way! -- but as I say, the courtyard is quite small...

      Cheers,
      -Hugh

        Sure thing Hugh,

        It's approximately 50-100 mW range of consumption for the HomeAutomation devices during low power mode. It does use a little bit of power when using RF to remotely control.

        I use the WinPlus Home Automation system. No need to embed a massively extensive I2C into the walls if you don't need to.

        Since a lot of stuff in the house is on powerboards, It makes life much easier to switch off an entre board at once.

        I also noticed in the supermarkets a $70 powerboard that senses when there is a dramatic drop in consumption on the 'Master Outlet' of the powerboard, and it automatically switches off the secondary outlets.

          Thanks, I'll look into WinPlus to see if it'll work for me.

    What i usually do, is notebooks, chargers, computers and networking switches, at home (yes im in IT) I like to turn them off when they aren't being used, no point of them being on if they aren't being used, never leave anything on standby really, there is no point.

    In the summer months, i like to keep the place nice and dark, that way the a/c works more efficiently, and ive installed those door things that closes the gaps at the bottom to stop draughts (spelling?) from entering the house, they are awesome, works in winter as well, but in winter, i like to let the light shine thru, nothing like the natural power of the sun to warm up the house.

    Water wise i've installed water saving shower heards and sinks, you can buy kits at bunnings to cut the flow of water to make them more water saving friendly, outside ive got a small, 200L tank, plenty to wash the car, water for the fish tank and water my plants. Every little bit counts :)

    Hopefully everyone is using energy efficient lights in their homes. If not, why not?

    Also people need to remember that those 12v halogen downlights are NOT energy efficient. Low voltage does not mean low power use.

    Go CFL or LED wherever possible. You can even get CFL floodlight globes for use outside.

    Using CFL Globes plus putting computer/non essential stuff on a power board attached to a timer switch that turns off at night has worked really well for me.

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