Gadgets 'threaten energy savings'

The growing popularity of hi-tech devices, such as flat-screen TVs and digital radios, threaten to undermine efforts to save energy, a report says.

UK consumers spend £12bn a year on electronics, much of which is less efficient than older technology, a study by the Energy Saving Trust found.

By 2020, the gadgets will account for about 45% of electricity used in UK households, the organisation projected.

It said flat-screen TVs and digital radios were among the worst offenders.

Paula Owen, author of the report called The Ampere Strikes Back, said household appliances currently consumed about a third of an average home's electricity.

But she warned this was likely to increase as a result of people buying more energy intensive devices.

View: BBC News

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16 Comments

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What bothers me is all the "stand-by" devices.

Why can't people turn off devices anymore?

No matter how inefficient you make a monitor or laser printer, they draw zero watts if you can switch them OFF-- not just standby.

Standby power consumption is almost nil. The single leds that are typically on in such cases are the things that draw the majority of that power and those are only typically a few watts at a few volts, hardly worth jumping up and down about. It's the people not even using standby mode thats the problem.

ANova said,
Standby power consumption is almost nil. The single leds that are typically on in such cases are the things that draw the majority of that power and those are only typically a few watts at a few volts, hardly worth jumping up and down about. It's the people not even using standby mode thats the problem.

yess, but add all those few watts together ...

wtf... flat screen tv's are usually better off in energy consumption than the old ones... :p

And besides those, hardware companies generally *want* energy consumption to go down out of battery life reasons for all those portable devices, so it's not like they aren't encouraged for purely economical and competitive reasons. If they don't follow that trend but other companies do, they may find themselves out of business in the field. Yes, they want improved battery technology too, but that's only half of the equation, and they most of all strive to get both. For example, Apple would definitely like to cram as many hours of video time possible out of an iPod.

I understand there are problems in how we're living today and energy usage, but this is a really poor example.

Then it's up to the manufacturers to develop more energy-efficient devices (which they are doing by the way) and for the world to start finding better power sources to run things.

"Your old-fashioned, bulky cathode ray tube TV on average consumed about 100 watts of electricity when it was switched on," Dr Owen explained.

"What we are seeing now is a trend for much bigger flat-screened TVs. On average, we are seeing a three-fold increase in the energy needed to power these TVs.

What? I have a 19" LCDTV and 19" "Tube" TV, the LCD uses 50W and the Tube uses 125W (Our old 50" tube uses way more than our 42" LCD too). Do LCDs usually use more? Or does this person just have no idea what she's talking about just like most Global Warming/Energy nut?

I thought that as well, but how much do they both draw when in standby? I think that was the complaint against most modern technology these days.

My 42" LCDTV uses 10 Watts in idle, the 50" Tube uses 12 Watts, in standby.

Also, to quote an article that actually did some research:

Do LCDs save energy?
Yes. LCDs use considerably less energy than CRTs, both when running and also when in standby mode. Overall, LCDs can reduce display energy use by some 60%.5 For example, a 15” LCD uses around 25 watts when operational and around 3 watts when in standby mode, compared with an equivalent viewing area 17” CRT that uses 80 watts when operational and 5 watts in standby mode.6 LCD screens recover from standby faster than CRTs and consume less power when they do they this. LCDs do not emit the same heat load as does a CRT, and this saves energy on air conditioning in a building. The uniform brightness of an LCD screen means that the screen can better tolerate variations in light levels, and reductions in lighting also saves energy. A recent Japanese study estimates that if Japan continues on it’s path towards replacing old CRTs with new LCDs so that some 76% of displays will be LCDs by the end of 2003, this will save 3 billion kWh of power consumption (the equivalent of the total power consumption of 1,000,000 households or the power production of about 3 nuclear power plants).7

Jamie9 said,
Or does this person just have no idea what she's talking about just like most Global Warming/Energy nut?

A statement like that can only mean (at least) one of the following:

A) You work for an oil company;
B) You never actually check on the outside world to see what's happening, which would indicate that;
C) You are an utter and complete moron.

Which is it?

I'm all for cutting down energy use, however people like this who spout crap obviously without even knowing what they're talking about is why I would consider her a 'nut'. There has been literally hundreds of tests to prove LCD/Flat Panel are more energy efficient than tubes yet she just said the exact opposite... without any evidence.

For thinking you know anything about me you are one of the following:

a) A complete and utter moron.
b) A complete and utter moron.
c) A complete and utter moron.

Which is it?

Octol said,

A statement like that can only mean (at least) one of the following:

A) You work for an oil company;
B) You never actually check on the outside world to see what's happening, which would indicate that;
C) You are an utter and complete moron.

Which is it?

Statements like those can only mean (at least) one of the following:

  1. You work for Moveon.org
  2. You never actually check outside your narrow minded corncar world that is already having disastrous global ramifications on everything and everyone that rely on corn by driving the price of corn through the roof, which would indicate that;
  3. Micheal Moore is your lord and master, which would further indicate that;
  4. You are an utter and complete moron.

Octol said,

A statement like that can only mean (at least) one of the following:

A) You work for an oil company;
B) You never actually check on the outside world to see what's happening, which would indicate that;
C) You are an utter and complete moron.

Which is it?

Yeah, Octol. That's how you get people to pay attention to what you're saying. Insult them into action. And by action I mean of course: start a flame war. Maybe the reason a lot of people don't pay attention is because people like you, and the majority of them are, believe it or not, worse, tend to cram it down our damn throats.

Grow up, please? Convince me, don't blackmail *me* and call *me* a moron, it's just not going to work. I don't have to make a stupid list for that, do I?

Jamie9 said,
I'm all for cutting down energy use, however people like this who spout crap obviously without even knowing what they're talking about is why I would consider her a 'nut'.

I don't have any problem with your considering this woman a 'nut'. In fact you're probably right. What I had a problem with was the phrase: "just like most Global Warming/Energy nut".

Contrary to what the American Petroleum Institute and the Bush Administration would have everyone believe, the jury is not still out on global warming. Global warming is real, and human produced greenhouse gasses are the culprit.

Of course the aforementioned lying, thieving, murdering ******* will continue trying to convince everyone that global warming is overblown or non-existant. Well, they can twist and distort the facts all they want, but I want to see them distort this fact – displayed on the National Climate Data Center website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

The above graph shows that mean global temperatures are rising and that the last ten years have been the hottest years on record since record keeping began in 1880. The polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Hurricanes and other temperature-driven severe weather is on the increase. Droughts and flooding are getting totally out of control.

These aren't the opinions of "global warming nuts", they are facts that are there for anyone to see who will open their eyes and look. And the fact that these disasters are caused by human activity is supported almost unanimously by climate scientists worldwide.

So, needless to say, I get upset when someone dismisses the people that are working to save our planet from disaster as some kind of extremists with an axe to grind.

As for my comments about Jamie9, I simply meant to imply that he is uninformed. I didn't really think that he either worked for an oil company or was a moron. For that I apologize and deserve the flames I got from others.

That graph however doesn't go farther back than 1880. That's actually a pretty short time scale from a climate perspective.

That's not to say there may not be something noteworthy about it, but personally I tend to think these are more convincing:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e...de_400kyr-2.png

Scientists are able to go farther back in time this way, due to how they can "backtrack" CO2 concentrations as stored in polar ice cores.

That however shows CO2 levels, and not direct temperatures, but combine that data with today's knowledge of how CO2 interacts with reflecting infrared radiation, and one should be able to draw some more alarming conclusions.

Octol said,
Contrary to what the American Petroleum Institute and the Bush Administration would have everyone believe, the jury is not still out on global warming. Global warming is real, and human produced greenhouse gasses are the culprit.

Polution may be helping the warming effect, but it's otherwise a natural occurring event. It's been happening since this planet has existed.

MrCobra said,
Polution may be helping the warming effect, but it's otherwise a natural occurring event. It's been happening since this planet has existed.

Absolutely. But that doesn't mitigate the effects of rapidly pumping up the mean global temperature – either naturally or artificially. Just because something has happened before doesn't make it a good or desirable thing. At least not for life on this planet as it exists today. Previous climatic conditions – such as those that existed during the ages of the dinosaurs – are not necessarily good for us.

Question: What do 98% of all life forms that have ever existed have in common?
Answer: They are all extinct.

Screwing with the environment as we now are is way too much of a gamble for my blood. I'm not real anxious to join the other 98%!