Author Topic: Shame #1: 50 electronic devices per household?! Shame#2: standby power usage  (Read 8786 times)

Abe

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New York Times article on standby power usage in a lot of devices, and how to combat them. My surprise was that the average US household as 50 of these devices! Can anyone name 50 devices that a four-person household could own? I have in my (2-person) house:

1. Fridge
2. Microwave
3. Dishwasher
4. Toaster
5. Oven
6. Teakettle
7. Desktop computer
8. Laptop computer
9. Cable modem
10. Router
11. Speakers
12 & 13. CellPhones
14. Thermostat
15. Garage door opener
16 & 17. Ceiling fans
18. Clothes washer
19. Clothes dryer
20. Iron
21. Hairdryer

Can anyone think of what 22-50 would be? 10 computers? 25 phones?

Article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/science/just-how-much-power-do-your-electronics-use-when-they-are-off.html
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 01:58:37 AM by Abe »

theadvicist

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I'm going to go through our house (2 people). I'm guessing we're not far off: (Though can you clarify: are they only counting items that are plugged in all the time and therefore may use power on standby? Because many of these eg slow cooker are only pulled out and plugged in when needed).

  • Washing Machine
  • Bread Maker
  • Slow Cooker
  • Food processor
  • Stand mixer
  • Handheld stick blender for soup
  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Our oven is electric
  • dishwasher
  • TV
  • Amp & speakers
  • Our landline phones require a socket
  • And we have one upstairs and one downstairs
  • Router etc
  • Printer
  • Desktop computer
  • Desktop monitor
  • Laptop
  • Work laptop (cannot be used online, hence personal one).
  • ipad mini
  • phone for person 1
  • phone for person 2
  • Work phone for person 2
  • old smartphone which just uses wifi as phones aren't smart for person 1
  • old smartphone which just uses wifi as phones aren't smart for person 2
  • Lamps aren't counted? We have 5 total. So that could add four to our total
  • Kindle
  • Upstairs we have an amp and speakers as well. We don't have a TV but we listen to music a lot
  • I have an activity tracker which is plugged in once a week
  • hairdryer
  • We have a plug in space heater
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner for quick clean ups
  • Sewing machine
  • Second speciality sewing machine (I make clothes as a hobby)
  • Are we counting workshop type tools? DH easily has 10 drills / hammer-action drills / tablesaws /  routers etc

Wow, I think I need a new website to hang out on... I'll be run out of town!

There are just two of us, and we have a small house. We'd have more than 5 lamps for sure if we had other rooms, but with one living room and one bedroom, that's enough. If you had kids bedrooms, a guest room etc, and each person has a phone, TV, and bedside lamp, I can easily see how you get to 50. In fact, I'd expect the average non-mustachian to have loads more, because someone must buy those single-use kitchen appliances like cupcake makers etc.

Abe

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I think they are referring only to ones that remain plugged in and use power on standby. A survey of northern California revealed that almost 25% of power during the day is used for standby on devices. If you unplug stuff when it's not needed, or the device doesn't need standby power (lamps) you're excused!

Eric222

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Okay...let me see how terrible I am:  Things plugged in pretty much always.
1.  TV
2.  Chromecast (apparently this uses less power on standby and toggling on and off, but I'm skeptical).
3.  Electric blanket
4.  Apple power adapter
5.  Computer monitor
6.  Electric teakettle
7.  Microwave
8.  Fridge/Freezer
9.  Smart thermostat
10.  Cable Modem
11.  Airport/wifi
12.  Oven

I'm not sure which of these use power on standby.  I really thought this list would be longer...

TheGrimSqueaker

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Okay...let me see how terrible I am:  Things plugged in pretty much always.
1.  TV
2.  Chromecast (apparently this uses less power on standby and toggling on and off, but I'm skeptical).
3.  Electric blanket
4.  Apple power adapter
5.  Computer monitor
6.  Electric teakettle
7.  Microwave
8.  Fridge/Freezer
9.  Smart thermostat
10.  Cable Modem
11.  Airport/wifi
12.  Oven

I'm not sure which of these use power on standby.  I really thought this list would be longer...

The oven won't use power on standby unless it's got digital equipment such as a LED temperature display or an electronic temperature sensor. My oven is 100% analog (no circuit boards!) and draws zero current unless I turn it on. A gas range would be similar.

Electric teakettles and coffee makers that have no digital readout likewise draw power only when they're on. But if it's got one of those whizbang electronic LED or LCD displays, it sucks power pretty much constantly.

Eric222

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My teakettle is simple.  There is a coil that gets heated by electricity that boils water....they make those with fancy readouts?  WHY?

My oven has an led clock...I'm gonna guess that runs off of a small embedded battery...

I guess fancy electronic displays with nearly useless/useless information are cooler?

RetiredAt63

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Vampire power - we have time of use billing, it is definitely an incentive to be careful of vampire power.  Some things I am not sure, but here goes, and of course some things are always on but not really a standby use.

TV - I turned it off at the wall switch, I don't care if it takes a bit of time to get ready when I do need it.
Internet control box and router - always on
Desktop computer/laptop/printer - off or hibernating when not in use. 
Chargers for tablet/phone/string trimmer battery - on a power bar, turned off except when in use, which is usually overnight (cheapest electricity).
Microwave clock
Stove clock
Refrigerator since it runs as needed (but not vampire power really).
Electric kettle - I have the kind that has a base and kettle, is it using power when not on?
Thermostat - I wouldn't call that on standby, since it monitors house temp and turns on the furnace/AC as needed - and programmable so efficient for heating/cooling costs
Alarm clock - always on, but again not a standby thing.
Dishwasher - there are no lights lit on the panel when not in use, so I am guessing no vampire power.
Washer and dryer are old style, nothing standby.


TheGrimSqueaker

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My teakettle is simple.  There is a coil that gets heated by electricity that boils water....they make those with fancy readouts?  WHY?

My oven has an led clock...I'm gonna guess that runs off of a small embedded battery...

I guess fancy electronic displays with nearly useless/useless information are cooler?

If there's a LED clock there's also a circuit board driving it, and a battery might exist for backup but it's very unlikely to drive the clock 24x7.

Appliances without electronic gadgetry are very hard to come by, however they are cheap. I prefer them because electronics break and wear out more rapidly. With an all-analog stove, I can get replacement parts and repair what I need to. It's a lot harder to repair a baked circuit board.

Also, does anyone besides me prefer to the control knobs on the front of the stove like a handicap-accessible stove? I think reaching across something that's boiling to turn down the heat is idiotic, and I also do a lot of canning which requires me to have a large vat of boiling water pushed all the way to the back on the burners. It's physically impossible to adjust the heat unless the knobs are on the front.

Rural

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GrimSqueaker, I'm with you on the knobs, but I don't have them. I do have a fully analog electric stove, though, with a spring-driven timer and (broken) clock that actually required winding back in the day, so I'm not changing for knob placement until the thing breaks, which may be never. It's a late 60s model.


Always plugged:


1. Refrigerator
2. Electric throw, but it actually turns off
3. Microwave (with LED clock)
4. Coffee pot (ditto)
5. Countertop convection oven, fully analog, spring operated
6-8. 3 laptops
9. One flat screen second monitor for one old laptop - the integral screen no longer functions, so I think it may not be pulling power, but I haven't checked
10-11. Two wall wart cellphone chargers (for old flip phones, so maybe less power than smart devices?)
12-13. Two iPad  wall wart chargers
14-15. Two rechargeable flashlights/ emergency power. LED with emergency light function if the power goes out.
16-17. Two hard wired smoke detectors, required by code. I could turn off their dedicated circuit, but won't.
18. DSL modem/router combo
19-22. Cordless phone base and three extensions, which also serve as an intercom system. Layout of our house plus some hearing loss means I'm not sorry.
23. Roomba, pet version. Not sorry.
24. Alarm clock
25. Laser printer, but it's turned off at a switch for weeks at a time, turned on only when used.
26. Deep freezer
27-29 Two through-the wall heat pumps. They have individual thermostats and their compressors use more than 60% of our total power consumption. They've been turned off for well over a month now, but we topped 90 degrees yesterday and indoor humidity is currently at 73%, so I really should turn them on for a while today to keep the mold at bay.
30. Electric water heater, hardwired


That's everything.

Edit: forgot the hot water heater

« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 11:43:52 AM by Rural »

Chris22

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Always plugged in:

1. Fridge
2. Oven/stove
3. Microwave
4. Dishwasher
5. Toaster
6. Coffee Maker
7. TV (living room)
8. DVD player
9. DVR
10. Phone Landline, base
11. Phone ext 1
12. Phone ext 2
13. Phone ext 3
14. Lamp 1
15. Lamp 2
16. Lamp 3
17. Lamp 4
18. Hutch light
19. Washer
20. Dryer
21. Garage fridge
22. tool battery charger 1
23. tool batter charger 2
24. Garage radio
25. air compressor
26. Garage door opener
27. Exterior garage lights, LED (on timer)
28. Exterior landscaping lights, LED (on timer)
29. iphone charger
30. iphone charger
31. ipad charger
32. clock radio
34. lamp 1
35. lamp 2
36. TV
37. cable box
38. Apple TV
39. lamp
40. Router
41. Sump pump
42. Furnace/HVAC/Thermostat (hardwired in, doesn't count?)
43. Garage overhead 4' florescent light 1 (on switched circuit, doesn't count?)
44. Garage overhead 4' florescent light 2 (on switched circuit, doesn't count?)
45. Garbage disposal

Think that's it.  I'd be interested in knowing the vampire load of "dumb" stuff like lamps that have no electronics besides a simple circuit, they can't have that much load when switched off (and are running LED bulbs when switched on). 

acroy

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items I bet some (most) of us have:
-doorbell
-fire alarm(s)
-central alarm
-HVAC in attic/basement
-water heater

I bet there's more ;)

Rural

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items I bet some (most) of us have:
-doorbell
-fire alarm(s)
-central alarm
-HVAC in attic/basement
-water heater

I bet there's more ;)


I did leave out the water heater and will amend. I included the smoke alarms and don't have the others.

galliver

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This sounds like a fun game.

1) Water Heater
2) Microwave
3) Fancy tea kettle (I'm guessing most with LCD displays do different temperatures of water, which is needed for different kinds of teas: herbal vs black vs green vs white etc)
4) Fridge(/freezer)
5) LR TV (32" or 36")
6) BR TV (24"...this is what happens when you combine households...)[Great for sick days, though...]{We should really unplug this one more often since we hardly use it}
7) BluRay/DVD Player (another we should unplug unless needed)
8) Amazon Echo (*giant eye roll* not my choice...)
9) Alarm clock
10)-12) 3 cell phone chargers (2 by bed, 1 under couch)
13) Electric toothbrush
14) Cordless stick vacuum (usually charging)[our only vacuum]
15) Internet modem
16) Internet router
17) Bf work laptop
18)-19) 2 monitors (Bf WFH)
20) Printer
21) Desktop computer (normally off/standby)
22) & 23) Fire Stick and Chromecast (though I think they don't draw any power worth considering when the TV is off...i.e. TV acts like power strip and cuts power to those ports)
24) AC (normally off, we should unplug...)
25) Doorbell, I guess
26) Glowy light switches. (Not our choice, this being a rental, but I would *totally* install them in my own place later.)
27+) (Summer only) 1-3 Window fans

Electric appliances normally off/unplugged/dumb(no LCD):
1) Range
2) Oven
3) Toaster oven
4) Instant Pot
5) Dehydrator
6) Ninja MasterPrep
7) Stick Blender
8) Coffee grinder
9) Heat
10) & 11) Hair straightener & curler (only used for dressing up)
12)-14) Laptops 2-4. (2 old/mostly defunct, one my current one, plugged in only during use/charging otherwise lives in my bag).
15) Tablet (Nexus 7 broke and hasn't been replaced)
16) Kindle paperwhite (plugged in only when actively charging)

Do not possess:
1) Alarm system
2) Dishwasher
3) & 4) Washer/Dryer (shared building coin-op facility)
5) Hair dryer
6) Fire alarm(s) are on batteries
7) Video game systems

Came out to more than I thought, but seems on-par with other 2-person households. Looks like there are a couple things we could unplug without significant hassle in re-plugging before use. I didn't include lights b/c they are all on mechanical switches, or a couple other things that end up getting charged periodically... travel battery packs, bike light, fitbit, etc.

zolotiyeruki

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That's a pretty disappointing article, from an electrical engineer's perspective.  Here's why:
Spoiler: show
1) it's based on a study that's limited to Northern CA, an area that only requires minimal heating and cooling requirements year-round
2) it doesn't put anything in perspective.  "The equivalent of 50 large power plants."  There's no context there.  How many power plants do we have?
3) lots of "up to" and "can use." For example, a laptop that uses >25W, even when charged.
4) it ignores efficiency improvements in other areas.  For example, CFL and LED bulbs use less than 1/4 of the electricity as an incandescent.
5) the article starts off by talking about idle load, but then starts talking about the power draw of a coffee maker (which is excluded from the study and has nothing to do with the results).
6) it talks about "overall" power generation and emissions


Down to raw numbers, though:  The "idle draw" for the average household in the study was 165 watts.  That's...actually not that much.  When you look at a breakdown of the numbers, here's what you find:
Quote
The largest electricity uses (heating and cooling, lighting,
and refrigeration) accounted for just 15 percent of
always-on electricity consumption. Consumer electronics
(televisions, computers, printers, game consoles, etc.)
accounted for 51 percent, with the remaining 34 percent
attributed to other miscellaneous electrical load (MELs)
such as recirculation pumps, fishponds, aquariums, and
protected outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages
There's three categories here:
1) (15%) heating, cooling, lighting, refrigeration:  There's not a whole lot I can do about that.
2) (51%) consumer electronics:  yes, there are savings there
3) (34%) Miscellaneous loads: can't do much about these, once you have them (and some are legally required, like protected outlets, smoke detectors, etc)

So let's run some numbers:
If 1300 kWh/year is 23%, then the average household uses 5652 kWh/year, or 471kWh/mo.  For comparison, my first house in Houston (a whopping 1500 sq ft including the 2-car garage) consumed between 600 and 1,800 kWh/mo, depending on time of year.  Let's say we averaged 900/month, or an average of 1.25kW.  All of a sudden, that 165W drops from 23% of the bill to 13%.  Considering that fully half of that idle power is stuff you can't really do without, the "discretionary power consumption" drops to 6.5%. 

It also means the yearly bill for these devices is actually $87 per household, or $7.25/month, or $0.20/day.  And it still includes things like alarm clocks, microwaves, dishwashers, and ovens. I'm sorry, but $0.20 per day is not enough to convince me to walk around my house multiple times each day turning off or unplugging things I might not use for the next several hours.

Does that mean I do nothing?  Heck no.  My (desktop) computer goes to sleep at night, as does the kids'. We turn off the lights before we go to bed.  The thermostat turns down for the night in the winter.  Certainly the cable companies, TV manufacturers, and game console companies have some work to do (we have none of the above).  But before you get all hot and bothered about it, please put it in perspective.

BlueHouse

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I'm one of the people with an LED readout on my electric kettle -- yes, I use different temperatures for different teas. 
Here are a few items I haven't seen mentioned yet:
Cordless vacuum charging station (always plugged in.
Multiple smart LED bulbs that require power to be always on if I want to control them remotely (and I do).
Multiple smart light switches that always have power running into the switch (evidenced by a glowing LED when the switch is OFF). 
Multiple smart lamp modules -- power to control lamps or appliances from my smart phone.
DropCam camera. 
Intercom system and speakers.  LCD panels to control intercoms/speakers/doorbell/etc.
Whole home surge protector

Syonyk

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Ugh.  Forum ate my post.

In any case, 25% being wasted standby?  Bullshit.  Maybe if you have a totally gas powered house and are never home.

I've got an all electric house, and a whole lot of 30-60A pairs of 240v breakers that run things like the well pump, furnace blower, range, heat pump compressor, backup coils, dryer, etc.  My cell phone charger by the bed is not significant.

My house is using 20-35kWh/day.  If my various standby devices were using 5kWh/day, they'd be averaging over 200W - constantly.  Somehow, I don't think that's the case.

mwulff

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I'll chime in here. In full standby (ie on vacation) my house uses about 3,5 kWh pr day (run freezer and fridge). Daily usage in the summer is just about 11 kWh pr day and up to about 20 kWh per day in the depth of winter.

Two things really keep our electricity usage down:

1. There is no air-condition in our home.
2. We don't use electricity for heating in the winter.

Even so we started to seriously think about electricity usage in 2013 and we reduced our yearly consumption from 4355 kWh to 2716 kWh resulting in a savings of $564 per year. Not bad for changing a few bulbs and just remembering to turn things off when we leave the room.

We also shut down computers when we leave them and just rely on the ssd to get it back up quickly when we need it.

There is also a bunch of stuff connected to "smart extension coords". For example if you turn off the AV-receiver power is cut to everything in the AV rack.

It's all small stuff but it really helps.

RetiredAt63

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I thought we were talking ghost or vampire or standby use?  I have all sorts of things that are "always on" in the sense that they are not turned off, and need to be - hot water tank, well pump, refrigerator, furnace fan are the most obvious.  They aren't always running, but they do when needed.

Actual counts?  We are an electric society, what can we say?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 11:27:57 AM by RetiredAt63 »

Dollar Slice

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This thread is making me feel pretty minimalist :-)

Plugged in always:
1. Fridge
2. Oven/hood
3. Toaster
4. Dishwasher
5. LED lamp (3W bulbs)
6. LED lamp (6W bulb)
7. in-wall air conditioning
8. Router/modem
9. NAS
10. Laptop (sleep mode when not in use)
11. USB charger
12. Alarm clock
13. Doorbell
14. Smoke alarm
15. Built-in lighting

Things I plug in as needed:
1. Vacuum
2. Instant pot
3. Speakers (I usually use headphones so I unplug these when not in use)
4. Space heater (for a few very very cold nights)
5. Mixer
6. Inflatable mattress for guests
7. Heating pad for sore back when needed

Could that really be it?

dragoncar

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My standby usage is around 250w.  I'm guessing it's mostly 150w from the fridge, 80w from wine cooler and maybe 20w everything else... But I don't really know. 

CmFtns

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AWWW man here we go I wonder if I can remember everything that stays plugged in all the time while i'm not home to walk around and look...


1) Desktop Computer/Monitors
2) Modem
3) Router
4) TV
5) A/V Reciever
6) Media Nettop
7) Wii Console
8) Subwoofer
9) NAS hard drive
10) Ceiling Fans
11) Fridge
12) Garbage Disposal
13) Dishwasher
14) Stove
15) Microwave
16) Household light fixtures
17) Computer Speakers
18) Washing Machine
19) Clothes Dryer
20) Garage Door Opener
21) Water Softer
22) Well Pump
23) Hot Water Heater
24) Air Conditioner/Furnace
25) Thermostat

I think that's it

yuka

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This one was made for me to embarrass myself! My 3 person household has:
  • 5 phone chargers
  • 2 desktop computers
  • 6 computer monitors
  • 4 laptops (there are 5, but I never plug my second one in)
  • fancy Kueric thing
  • microwave
  • fridge
  • oven
  • 2 speaker sets
  • TV
  • chromecast
  • PS3
  • I guess I should count my roommate's lights for his bedroom and bathroom, because he never turns them off
  • 3 printers

ketchup

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My best count, for a household of two human adults.

Always plugged in or hardwired, and definitely drawing power constantly:

1. Furnace (gas) / thermostat
2. Kitchen Refrigerator
3. Garage Canine Refrigerator
4. Garage chest freezer
5. Garage chest freezer
6. Desktop computer
7. Desktop monitor
8. NAS
9. External hard drive
10. External hard drive
11. External hard drive
12. External hard drive
13. Cable modem
14. Router
15. PC speakers

Always plugged in or hardwired, but probably use zero to a negligible amount of power when not in use:

16. Microwave
17. Stove (gas) / electric oven
18. Washer
19. Dryer
20. Kitchen ceiling fan
21. Kitchen lamp
22. Living room lamp
23. Bedroom lamp
24. Bedroom lamp
25. Office lamp
26. Garage door opener

Plugged in as needed:

27. Blender
28. Food processor
29. Slow cooker (6 quart)
30. Slow cooker (2 quart)
31. Stick blender
32. Hair dryer
33. Dog dryer
34. Hair clippers
35-36. His and hers Dremel rotary tools
37. Ryobi battery charger for cordless tools
38. Tile saw
39. Laptop charger
40. Laptop charger
41. Smartphone charger
42. Smartphone charger
43. Weed whacker
44. DSLR battery charger
45. Vacuum cleaner
46. Window unit air conditioner
47. Window unit air conditioner

I think that's everything, and that's including things that get plugged in only a few times a year at the most.  The only things I didn't include were lights on switches, and I suppose by extension our bathroom exhaust fan.

galliver

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35-36. His and hers Dremel rotary tools


That is super romantic. :D

FiguringItOut

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This is an interesting exercise. Here's what we have (1 adult, 2 teens, rental apartment).

Always plugged in:
1. Refrigerator
2. Microwave
3. Stove (gas stove, electric oven with LED clock)
4. Electric kettle
5-7. 3 laptops
8-10. 3 cellphones
11-12. 2 desk lamps
13. alarm clock
14. printer
15. sleep noise thing
16. TV
17. router

Seasonal:
18. heating pad
19. floor fan
20-22. 3 window A/C units

There are few things that get plugged in every once in a blue moon like food processor, slow cooker, and lighted mirrow.  There also regular overhead light in all rooms and fans in two bathrooms.
My regular average electric bill is around $40/month. 
I've only been here one summer (2015) and average electric bill for July, Aug, and Sept was around $100/month.  The's basically because of A/C's.  My kids run them 24/7 in their rooms at the lowest settings and no amount of fighting from me gets them to change it.

I'm curious to see how electric bill will be this coming summer.  We all will be away for two weeks in July.  And then most of the summer there will only bee one kid with me at a time.  And then they both will be away for two weeks in August.

Also, I am thinking of getting two more floor fans to have kids use in their rooms to may be delay putting A/C's in their rooms; but I would expect to have those fans also run 24/7.  I just think they must be eating up less electricity than A/C units.
 











alsoknownasDean

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I just counted up the electronic things in my little one bedroom apartment.

If one includes things like light globes or anything that's entirely battery powered or plugs into a computer (like my portable hard drives), I've got 51 electronic items.

I counted 30 items that are plugged in all the time.

My daily usage ranges between 3kWh in the summer and 9kWh in the winter. Currently it's still about 3-4kWh a day due to a warm autumn.

galliver

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My regular average electric bill is around $40/month. 
I've only been here one summer (2015) and average electric bill for July, Aug, and Sept was around $100/month.  The's basically because of A/C's.  My kids run them 24/7 in their rooms at the lowest settings and no amount of fighting from me gets them to change it.

Take it out of their allowance. If you don't give them one, offer them $20/mo each for the summer, with electric deducted at a proportional rate. The second option might not save you a lot, but might teach them the cost of AC, which will benefit them in the future. My parents did this with school lunches (the more I packed my own the more allowance/lunch money I got to keep).

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I have at least 75 devices always plugged in.   Included are over 7 UPS, 3 TVs, and several USB chargers.   At least another 75 devices are not always plugged in.   I'd be surprised if unplugging everything saved $10 per month.

I did replace all of the light bulbs with LED (and a couple CFL).   Recently I replaced 18 50wat halogen bulbs with 8watt LED.   I do tend to turn lights and appliances off in vacant rooms, use a programable thermostat,  and gas dryer /gas range / gas heat.  The gas furnace, heat pump, and air conditioners are all newer high SER units. 

I also have a few solar USB chargers and use one to charge my phone in my car.   I have a Kickstarter solar cooker, but have yet to assemble and use it.

I'm a red panda

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I can easily get to 50, and quite a bit over. The vast majority of these aren't plugged in all the time, I don't think.
1) Fridge
2) Dishwasher
3) Microwave
4) Stove
5) Stand Mixer
6) Toaster
7) Coffee Machine
8) Handheld Mixer
9) Blender
10) Griddle
11) Waffle Iron
12) Food Processor
13) Ice Cream Machine

5)TV
6)Chromecast
7) Leg Massager (not left plugged in)
8) Blood pressure tester


9)Washer
10) Dryer


11) Stupid pariffin wax spa my mom got me
12) Jamberry Nail heater

13) lamp
14) Clock
15) TV
16) Google Nexus
17) Other Lamp

18) Lamp

19) Lamp
20) Clock

21) Computer
22) Monitor 1
23) Monitor 2
24) 5 speaker system (but they all have the same plug)

25) Sewing Machine
26) Wet Iron
27) Dry Iron
28) Mini Iron
29) Heat Gun
30) Laptop

31) TV
32) Stupid Wine Chiller
33) Wii
34) X-box
35) Game Cube
36) Super Nintendo
37) Sega Genesis
38) Various Speakers, but they all hook to each other, so one plug
39) Lamp

40) Water Softener
41) Router
42) I think the antenna amplifier goes to a plug but I'm not sure
43) Space Heater
44) Space Heater
45) Space Heater
46) Vacuum
47) Old dust buster

48) Lamp
Shit ton of tools I can't count
Various Christmas decorations

Plus our cell phones (2 current, tons of old ones)
Webcam

Plus all the stuff that runs on batteries, many of which are rechargeable.

Oh crap, I forgot my heating pad, floor fan, printer, sleep noise thingy I travel with, external hard drive, garage door opener, ceiling fans in nearly every room, 2 different slow cookers, and the sump pump that we neither need nor I think actually works.
Edit. Forgot the two kindles.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 06:17:45 PM by iowajes »

JR

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Interesting thought experiment. Here is my list.

Doesn't draw standby power/only plugged in when in use
1. Electric Oven
2. Toaster
3. Rice Cooker
4. Blender/food processor
5. Radio
6. Hair dryer
7. Curling iron
8. Washer
9. Electric Dryer
10. Nintendo
11. Super Nintendo
12. Upstairs vacuum cleaner
13. Downstairs vacuum cleaner
14. Electric weed whacker
15. Hair clippers
16. Electric shaver
17. Coffee maker

Always on/ does draw standby power
18. Garage door opener
19. Gas water heater
20. Doorbell
21. Refrigerator
22. TV
23. Alarm clock
24. Cable modem
25. Wifi router


Only uses power when being charged
26. Garmin running watch
27. Garmin running watch
28. Headlamp
29. iPhone
30. iPhone
31. Work iPad
32. Laptop
33. Cordless drill

Seasonal
34. Baseboard electric heater (We only use three of these in the winter)
35. Baseboard electric heater
36. Baseboard electric heater
37. Baseboard electric heater
38. Baseboard electric heater
39. Baseboard electric heater
40. Window AC unit
41. Window AC unit

Forgot these - always on
42. Smoke / CO detector wired into house
43. Smoke / CO detector wired into house
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 11:46:56 AM by JR »

Highbeam

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I live in an all electric house 4 members. I actually have a whole house monitor that tells me how many watts are being consumed, it updates every six seconds. Efergy, from Amazon. Super cool.

I have a vampire baseload of 160 watts with everything "off". No fridges running or lights on but everything plugged in.

This bothered me so I used a clamp on meter around each circuit wire to find that just about every circuit has a base load. Several watts per GFCI outlet surprised me. My electric oven, GE, all off but plugged in uses 58 watts doing nothing. Weird!

Our power is cheap at about 10 cents per Kwh but I hate waste. I'm an engineer and I'm swiss. Sorry. My highest bills are under 100$ per month for electricity so it's hardly worth worrying about.

dycker1978

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Some of the things that don't seem to be on many, or any lists that will use power.

1. Modern furnace - Even a gas furnace will have an electric circuit to monitor the thermostat and turn on.
2. Hot water heater - again even the gas ones have a circuit and monitor temp and cycle.
3. Light switches - not may are absolutely 100% efficient, there will be some phantom power loss there.
4. Cable boxes.  I know we are mustachian, but I also know there are lots of cable boxes out there.
5. Winter - at least where it is cold - block heaters for cars
6. Any Hardwired smoke/CO detector
7. central vac
8. Alarm clock


That is all of the obscure ones I can think of.

galliver

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Some of the things that don't seem to be on many, or any lists that will use power.

1. Modern furnace - Even a gas furnace will have an electric circuit to monitor the thermostat and turn on.
2. Hot water heater - again even the gas ones have a circuit and monitor temp and cycle.
3. Light switches - not may are absolutely 100% efficient, there will be some phantom power loss there.
4. Cable boxes.  I know we are mustachian, but I also know there are lots of cable boxes out there.
5. Winter - at least where it is cold - block heaters for cars
6. Any Hardwired smoke/CO detector
7. central vac
8. Alarm clock


That is all of the obscure ones I can think of.

1) Can't speak for others but where I grew up in the SF Bay Area and where I live now in So Cal we have glorified built-in space heaters, not furnaces. At least in smaller units; might be different in houses. Point is, it's definitely possible not to have a furnace!
3) An electrician correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC most of your regular toggle light switches are mechanical; they literally interrupt the circuit, therefore no current can flow, therefore no phantom power. It's as good as unplugging. I expect most lamps (with manual switches that "click") operate the same way. Any kind of smart device (that has to listen for a wireless signal to turn on/do whatever) or switches like the ones at our rented condo with little flickering lights inside, obviously do draw some power while off. Also, if anything just has a dimmer but no mechanical "off" you can lower the power to the point where the filament doesn't glow but some power is still drawn, theoretically at least. But I don't think I've encountered a fixture like that but it's conceivable...
8) Wouldn't be surprised if many people use their phones.

Syonyk

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3) An electrician correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC most of your regular toggle light switches are mechanical; they literally interrupt the circuit, therefore no current can flow, therefore no phantom power. It's as good as unplugging. I expect most lamps (with manual switches that "click") operate the same way.

Not an electrician but I play with plenty of electronics.  You're correct.  A typical lightswitch is entirely mechanical, and separates some contacts, so there's zero current flowing through it.

Quote
Also, if anything just has a dimmer but no mechanical "off" you can lower the power to the point where the filament doesn't glow but some power is still drawn, theoretically at least. But I don't think I've encountered a fixture like that but it's conceivable...

Generally dimmers will have a mechanical off as well.  And you *should* adjust the dimmer's lower limit when you install it such that you can get the lights as low as possible without them being off.  LED bulbs and incandescents both will not light below a certain power, and you should have the low stop set just above that.

galliver

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3) An electrician correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC most of your regular toggle light switches are mechanical; they literally interrupt the circuit, therefore no current can flow, therefore no phantom power. It's as good as unplugging. I expect most lamps (with manual switches that "click") operate the same way.

Not an electrician but I play with plenty of electronics.  You're correct.  A typical lightswitch is entirely mechanical, and separates some contacts, so there's zero current flowing through it.


Thanks for confirming. I play with electronics at times as well and want to think my engineering education counts for something; but I haven't observed the innards of a light switch since a project for HS physics.

Quote
Also, if anything just has a dimmer but no mechanical "off" you can lower the power to the point where the filament doesn't glow but some power is still drawn, theoretically at least. But I don't think I've encountered a fixture like that but it's conceivable...

Generally dimmers will have a mechanical off as well.  And you *should* adjust the dimmer's lower limit when you install it such that you can get the lights as low as possible without them being off.  LED bulbs and incandescents both will not light below a certain power, and you should have the low stop set just above that.

We have dimmer sliders in our BR and dining nook, but both are also attached to mechanical switches. Since we didn't install them (renting), but we've changed out the bulbs for LED ones, it's possible to turn down the dimmer to where the light turns off. I've occasionally found it this way and been irritated (I like it bright so I rarely use the dimmer anyway, I just flip it on and off). Growing up I think our dining room light dimmed and then "clicked" off at the end. So I agree, dimmers should have hard switches as well. I was just allowing for the possibility of light switches I hadn't encountered before :)

Tjat

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Let's see...

1. My laptop
2. Her Laptop (one of which is plugged in usually
3. Computer monitor 1
4. Computer monitor 2
5. Printer
6. TV 1
7. TV 2
8. Sound bar 1
9. Sound bar 2 (embarrassing, I know)
10. Wii game console (still embarrassed)
11. Table lamp 1
12. Table lamp 2
13. Wine fridge (hangs head in shame)
14. Refrigerator
15. Electric Oven/Stovetop w/ LED clock
16. Dishwasher
17. Microwave
18. Washer
19. Dryer
20. Electric Piano
21. Nightstand lamp 1
22. Nightstand lamp 2
23. Nightstand lamp 3
24. Alarm Clock




dragoncar

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3) An electrician correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC most of your regular toggle light switches are mechanical; they literally interrupt the circuit, therefore no current can flow, therefore no phantom power. It's as good as unplugging. I expect most lamps (with manual switches that "click") operate the same way.

Not an electrician but I play with plenty of electronics.  You're correct.  A typical lightswitch is entirely mechanical, and separates some contacts, so there's zero current flowing through it.


Thanks for confirming. I play with electronics at times as well and want to think my engineering education counts for something; but I haven't observed the innards of a light switch since a project for HS physics.

Quote
Also, if anything just has a dimmer but no mechanical "off" you can lower the power to the point where the filament doesn't glow but some power is still drawn, theoretically at least. But I don't think I've encountered a fixture like that but it's conceivable...

Generally dimmers will have a mechanical off as well.  And you *should* adjust the dimmer's lower limit when you install it such that you can get the lights as low as possible without them being off.  LED bulbs and incandescents both will not light below a certain power, and you should have the low stop set just above that.

We have dimmer sliders in our BR and dining nook, but both are also attached to mechanical switches. Since we didn't install them (renting), but we've changed out the bulbs for LED ones, it's possible to turn down the dimmer to where the light turns off. I've occasionally found it this way and been irritated (I like it bright so I rarely use the dimmer anyway, I just flip it on and off). Growing up I think our dining room light dimmed and then "clicked" off at the end. So I agree, dimmers should have hard switches as well. I was just allowing for the possibility of light switches I hadn't encountered before :)

My LEDs on dimmers work ok but they are very slow to start if the switch is turned on when the dimmer is low.  Like up to 20 seconds or more.  I guess it has to charge the flux capacitors or something, but I really just leave them on and rarely dim anyways.  If I want mood lighting I use other fixtures with fewer lights/watts

Syonyk

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Quick way to get very familiar with standby power of devices: An off grid office that's powered by solar.

My office idles at about 55W (network gear & radios online, Raspberry Pi online for logging, iMac sleeping).  I think about half of this is the inverter's idle draw - it pulls 20-30W no-load, and I can't switch it to power saver mode (it pulses the AC and sleeps between, looking for a load) because things are actually using the power produced.  That's nearly a kWh (880Wh) over the course of the 16 hours I'm not using it, and a good chunk of that is on battery.

... and then the AC unit pulls about 750W every now and then to keep it cool.

My plan to help reduce this standby load is going to a direct DC bus for many of the devices.  I'll drop down from my pack voltage (48v nominal, realistically it's 48-62v depending on charge state/charging/equalization) to 24v, then come down from that to whatever the devices need.  A lot of my networking gear can run on 24v directly, and a lot of other stuff runs on 12v or 5v, which are easy and cheap buck converters down from a 24v rail (the cheap ones supposedly can hit 65v, but I don't trust them near or above actual rated spec, and they're not efficient with such a long drop).

Abe

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The only things we use that depend on AC current are the appliances. Do you think a DC setup for laptops, LED bulbs, etc powered by a smaller solar + battery setup is feasible? We may be moving to Houston soon and would be interested in setting up our house down there on such a system in event of floods, hurricanes, etc.

Syonyk

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The only things we use that depend on AC current are the appliances. Do you think a DC setup for laptops, LED bulbs, etc powered by a smaller solar + battery setup is feasible? We may be moving to Houston soon and would be interested in setting up our house down there on such a system in event of floods, hurricanes, etc.

Sure.  You could do a secondary power setup in the house on DC - it'd be a bunch of work to get set up, but it's entirely possible.

bacchi

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Always on drawing power/standby (i.e., if we leave the house for the day, these continue drawing electricity):

1) fridge
2) gas oven with LCD clock
3) doorbell
4) smoke alarms
5-6) 2 laptops
7) HVAC + thermostat
8) alarm clock
9-10) phone and kindle charger

Everything else is turned on as needed. The only remote control device is the stereo and it's on a strip.


redbird

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My constantly plugged in stuff:

1. Fridge
2. Electric oven with LCD clock
3. Microwave with clock
4-6. 2 routers (1 functioning as a switch) and cable internet model
7. Computer serving as a file server
8. Handheld cordless vacuum's charger (I need it because of a cockatiel who likes to throw empty seed hulls outside the cage whenever she eats)
9-16. TV, A/V receiver, DVD player, 4 video game consoles, a charger for one of the game console's controllers
17-19. Husband's desktop PC + monitor + computer speakers
20. My laptop charger
21-31. Lamps. This apartment has very few light fixtures. :(
32. Washing machine
33. Hot water heater
34. HVAC
35. Computer printer

I *think* that's it. Everything else is plugged in as needed. No, I'm not forgetting an alarm clock. Mine is powered purely by AA batteries. I technically have a Comcast cable box but it has never been plugged in. I got some free channels with my internet service, but I watch it all online. Don't have a clothes dryer and I unplugged the dishwasher and don't use it.

My power bill is generally $50 or less per month. I don't cheap out on the heating/cooling, but I do have all LED light bulbs except for the fluorescent tubes in the kitchen fixture. I have not tried to make my power usage more efficient other than purchasing LED light bulbs since I knew this was a temporary living environment (looking to be living here less than a year by the time we move). But either way I don't feel shame by the number of my devices or standby usage. I know I can probably cut some power costs and plan to try in the next place, but considering the EXTREMELY HIGH costs of power in my last 2 places I lived (Hawaii and Japan) in comparison, this feels super cheap of a bill as is.