How Much Are Your Home’s Entertainment Devices Costing You? - Carolina Country
February 2020

With today’s high-tech electronic devices, simply turning them “off” doesn’t save nearly as much energy as most people think. These days, most homes have multiple TVs and computers, all connected to various devices such as DVD players, game consoles, external monitors, and printers.

While these cool electronics are packed with features that entertain us or help us be more productive, the energy consumed by all these gadgets in our homes can add up to nearly 10% of a household’s monthly electric bill! In fact, several devices found inside your home are commonly referred to as “energy vampires,” which means that they consume electricity even when they are switched off (what is known as “phantom load”). In addition to TVs, Blue-Ray players, DVD players, DVRs, game consoles, and cable or satellite boxes also use energy even when they’re turned off. That’s why it is important to use these convenient and low-cost energy-saving solutions to help you better manage your home’s energy consumption. These solutions will help mitigate the increased electrical load and protect your electronic devices, ultimately saving you some money in the long run.

Use “Smart” Power Strips

Installing a “smart,” or advanced power strip in your home is a quick and easy way to start saving money while making your household a little more energy-efficient. Traditional power strips house many different devices and use only one outlet, but remember, if devices are plugged in, they will continue to use energy. Smart power strips can actually cut the power off and save energy since they can detect when a device is in standby mode—and since it’s not always practical to unplug these items whenever they are not in use, “smart” power strips can effectively do so for you.

Protect Against Power Surges with Surge Protectors

Like power strips, surge protectors are ideal for when you have numerous electronics within the vicinity. Smart surge protectors, however, guard your expensive electronic equipment against unexpected power surges while also saving you money by reducing energy use. With multiple electrical outlets, a surge protector can house the cords for your phone, laptop, or TV, allowing them all to charge while simultaneously protecting them from a voltage surge—a spike in an electrical current—which can cause damage to both your electronics and appliances. You can usually find these for under $20, but more expensive options offer protection up to a higher amount of joules (a rating that tells how much energy a surge protector can absorb).

Purchase ENERGY STAR TVs and Appliances

Fortunately, many newer models of TVs that are being produced meet stricter energy efficiency guidelines. Energy Star® certification is a U.S. government program aimed at certifying different household appliances that meet rigorous energy efficiency standards. And in the case of TVs, Energy Star certified models save around 27% more energy than other models.

Access Union Power’s TV Calculator

With Union Power’s TV Calculator, you can see how much electricity your TV, cable box, DVD/DVR, and game consoles cost based on the type of TV (LED, LCD, Plasma), size, when it’s used, the amount of time, and how much energy it consumes when it’s just plugged in. Visit for more information.

Calculate your TV's Usage

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