We live for our gadgets! We love them, we pet them, we charge them. But how much power do we spend on them?
The daily essentials
Our smartphone, our laptop, and our smartwatch are what we can’t live a day without. Most of us use them always and charge them at least daily.
An average laptop uses about 0.05kWh; the amount of power your average smartphone and smartwatch consume in a day is so insignificant that we could just skip that, honestly.
Now, to make out a typical day, let’s take out 8 hours for sleep; that will give us 16 hours. In 16 hours, the laptop alone uses 0.8kWh of energy, along with your smartphone and smartwatch; that will be a tiny bit more, but let’s say this.
The invisible drainers
We all have some non-essentials that live in our homes and stay plugged in 24/7—the TV, the gaming console, the streaming console, several chargers, you name it.
Believe it or not, they use power 24/7 (or as long as they stay plugged in). The typical LED TV uses 50W per hour when in use and 0.5 W per hour when turned “off” from the remote. The gaming and streaming consoles use up to 150W per hour when used and up to 10W when off. The standard charger plugged in and not in use drains up to 2W per hour.
Let’s translate these to a typical week when you use the TV and console for, say, 4 hours on week-days, and let’s gross it up to 6 hours on weekends. This will make 1.83kWh on your TV. Say you play/ stream on your console for the same amounts of time as your TV. This will make 6.16kWh for the consoles. Your charger plugged in all the time will draw 0.34kWh in the week if you don’t charge any devices.
So, we end up at about 8.33kWh in a week, most of which we don’t even need. Of course, there are many more devices we keep plugged in unnecessarily, but these are the easiest to generalize and give numbers for.
In 2019, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,649 kWh. This gives an average of 2,662kWh in a week. Understandably the devices above don’t make a part of this worth considering. Still, this is some energy that doesn’t have to be used.
Not all of us are ready to go down on our homes’ comfort, which is totally ok with me: our homes are where we enjoy comfort and relaxation. Still, we can definitely get somewhat more sustainable by reducing our gadgets’ load.
Few of us are willing to unplug the coffee machine every time and then get mad in the morning, not getting the life-saving potion quickly.
But putting the TV, the speakers, and the console on a power strip and turning that off before going to bed is not that hard. You’re most probably going to use it next evening, not before; why not stop it from adding up on your power bill.