15 Dec How much does it cost in electricity to binge watch series?
We’ve probably never used our TV or computer as much as in the past year. Whether it is for work or for entertainment, for those who do not have the chance to have an unlimited Internet subscription, having to pay for a data overage can be very annoying. However, it probably doesn’t occur to us to think about the electricity costs of these activities.
Hydro-Quebec has calculated what it would cost us annually if we watched 5 hours of video non-stop per day every day, according to the type of device used for viewing.
- Smart TV: $14.02
- TV + streaming device: $14.95
- TV + gaming console: $25.70
- Laptop: $2.92
It’s easy to calculate the costs if there several users in the house using different devices for a certain number of hours a day.
Beware of phantom power
But that’s not all. Do you know about phantom power? Up to 10% of your hydro bill is for electrical devices that are turned off—or at least seem to be. But they are on standby (or sleep) mode, drawing power all the time.
In this shadowy world of waste, “off” doesn’t necessarily mean “disconnected.” Many appliances and electronics continue to draw power for various features, such as clocks, LEDs, touch pads, and receiving Wi-Fi or remote control signals.
- Remember to unplug electronics that draw phantom power (cell phones, coffeemakers, chargers, etc.).
- Once a device has been fully charged, remove it from the charger. Unplug the charger when it is not being used.
- Chargers use only a small percentage of the power they draw to recharge the device. The rest is wasted phantom power.
Here is other interesting information from the Energy Wise section of the Hydro-Québec Website:
- Most household appliances are usually used between 3 and 30 minutes a day; the rest of the time, they are on standby.
- Home electronics are on standby about 75% of the time—some 6,500 hours a year.
- Up to 40% of the annual energy consumption of electronic devices occurs when they are turned off.
- Some devices that are used only rarely consume more energy when they are turned off than when they are in use over the course of a year.
- The average home has between 20 and 40 consumer electronic devices drawing phantom power.
Opt for a smart power with a surge suppressor
How does it work? One socket is for the main (master) device, such as your computer or TV, and the others are for peripherals (slaves).
When the power bar detects that the main device is off or on standby, it cuts the power to all the peripherals, such as printers or loudspeakers.
When you turn the computer or TV back on again, the peripherals are reconnected.
Of course, there are other ways to help reduce our electricity costs, but the above information does make us think about the savings possibilities if we make just a few changes to our electricity habits.