July Take Action Period - Week 5

It’s the final week of Reduce Energy Use DC’s Take Action Period and this week we’re focusing in on our appliances and electronics. Did you know that 32% of energy use comes from appliances and “energy vampires”? Energy vampires include chargers, speakers, TVs, and other electronics that remain plugged in when not in use. Our first tip is to unplug as many energy vampires when you can.

Here are some additional tips to help you save money and the environment:

• Set your refrigerator between 36°F and 38°F and your freezer between 0°F and 5°F
• Turn electronics off when not in use
• Use a power strip
• Clean your refrigerator coils
• Unplug fully charged electronics
• Use timers to manage items like coffee makers
• Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode automatically after 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity to use less energy.
• Enable your TV’s automatic brightness control, or ABC, sensor, which will adjust the picture brightness to the level of light in the room. Since most TV viewing occurs at night when a less-bright display is needed, this can make a big difference in energy consumption.
• Disable the “quick start” feature on your TV, as this minor convenience continuously consumes excess energy while the TV is not actively being used.
• Avoid streaming on video game consoles as they use a lot of excess energy and are very inefficient for streaming movies or TV shows, using as much as 30 times as much energy as a smart TV or small add-on devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or a Roku box.

Have you ever wondered how much energy your different appliances use on average? You can easily find out through the Department of Energy’s Appliance Energy Calculator.

We realize that you may be considering energy-efficient purchases for larger appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers. If you do, look for the ENERGY STAR label. The ENERGY STAR label is awarded to products for the home and office that are highly energy-efficient.

There are so many more things you can do to help save energy this July. Visit our page for the July Action Period to find out more ways to trim down your energy bill and emissions.