White goods like washing machines and fridges come with an official EU energy efficiency rating that shows you whether the machine is efficient and environmentally considerate. However, with other electronic devices, like home entertainment, the ways to save money are less obvious. The following article will help you keep your electric bills down.
LED TVs are now the most common televisions produced, and they are more efficient than plasma or LCD TVs. A TV that has an ambient light sensor saves around 30-50% on electricity according to a study by Which? Energy. If you don't have an ambient light sensor, your TV might have an eco mode that does a similar job. However, both will hurt the picture quality.If you listen to the radio through your TV, then a radio blanking feature can reduce the energy used while listening by 50-90%, so check if you're TV has this feature. If you don't have this feature you can replicate its effect by turning brightness down on your screen until it is effectively off.
Laptops typically use 85% less electricity than desktop PCs, mostly due to smaller screens and components. Shut down your machine completely when you're not using it (don't keep it on stand-by) and turn off components like printers or external speakers when not in use.
Modern TVs use less electricity on stand-by than older sets, but it's still a good idea to switch your TV off fully, or at the mains. Related appliances like DVD players, VHS players, speaker amps, surround sound centres etc. should also be switched off rather than kept on stand-by to minimise energy usage.
Reducing the amount of electricity you use can certainly reduce your bills, but if you're not on the right tariff you could still be paying more than you need to. Use Money Dashboard to compare energy prices and find a supplier and a tariff that will give you the best deal for your usage.
Since September 2012, old style filament/incandescent bulbs are no longer on sale, and low-energy LED bulbs are the new norm, saving lots of energy for consumers. However, you can still save money by making sure you're using the correct bulb. The brightest energy-saving bulbs are rated 15-20W, but many fittings will provide enough light with an 8-10W bulb.
Watch Your Usage
Home energy monitors are becoming increasingly popular. In the same way that Money Dashboard budgeting software helps you save money by showing you exactly how much you are spending on what, a home energy monitor allows you to see when you are using more electricity, so you can compare how different appliances affect your energy usage rate, and budget your use of energy-sucking devices.