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Gadget Energy Use - 5 Things To Switch Off

Show of hands, who turned their radio off this morning? We in this modern day and age live a hectic lifestyle, and the idea of making sure things are switched off before we rush out the door starts at the water taps and ends at the oven. Making sure that the TV isn't left on standby and the dishwasher is turned off is never a priority as you run to work, or even when you go on a family holiday for a week. As modern lifestyles have slowly increased our use of electric goods, it’s unsurprising when the UK Department of Energy reports the average household use to be 13 times greater than it was in the ‘50s. Even if you've got solar panels installed, there is still a lot of room for energy savings to be made in nearly every home. However, a proportion of this cost is when we’re not even there, but your household gadgets are still slowly taking the pennies from your pocket. While most devices have a tiny power usage when left plugged in, don’t underestimate the collated cost of all those gadgets, as over time it could have some painstaking effects on your savings.

There’s no need to rack your brain trying to remember every single little power plug in the house as you run to your office meeting, but do turn off these 5 could even save enough in total to buy a new gadget to play with!

  • 1) Plasma TV – There is nothing like watching a blockbuster movie or a high def documentary (of the football) on the biggest wall mounted plasma screen you can find, but when it costs around £60 - £80 to run annually, times that by 5 years and you could get yourself on a holiday in the Canary Islands. What’s more, given the price of power will be likely to increase by about 6% in 5 years time, why not have a few cocktails on us then eh?
  • 2) Additional computer monitor – We all live a cyber lifestyle, and a home office is nothing short of compulsory when you have ten windows open and twenty emails to reply to all at once while you try and catch up on the latest viral craze to natter with your colleagues at the water cooler. But do keep in mind; running that extra monitor day to day will cost you an extra $28 - $41 over the course of a year. Here’s the time to consider, are you actually stuck for space? Add on the cost of leaving your computer on sleep/hibernate, the extra MacBook Pro you have for personal use and the Wi-Fi transmitter and you’ll be paying out over £40 a year just to keep the place running.
  • 3) Dishwasher/Clothes Dryer – It saves us time to just throw the dishes in the washer, and the feeling of warm, dry clothes is something we can’t say no to when it means we don’t have to run outside to the washing line to save our underwear from the rain. It almost pains me to report that while we save time, we most certainly don’t save money as over a year alone it costs anything from £150 - £230. Admittedly, for some of you, this may well be worth it for that extra time in bed!
  • 4) Slow cooker – Home-cooked meals save money, time and the need to doll yourself up when you can just relax on the sofa in your snuggie watching the recordings on your TiVo. Slow-cookers even save effort, throw your meat in there and let it roast until it’s al dente for Ramsay standard cooking...even Martha Stewart would be proud. Try to make sure it’s as good if not better than Gordon Ramsay, because it’ll cost you anything from £30 - £57 for the year, and that’s not including the wine, although it doesn't account for any tips.
  • 5) Dyson Vacuum – Vacuums are not the most energy guzzling of gadgets in the house, and generally speaking probably the most useful. Even so, the adverts on TV rave about the innovation of the ‘Dyson Balland how you don’t use bags to hoover up your family’s dirt. You’d be surprised to know that the monthly or weekly use of a vacuum costs an average of £10 - £16 to run a year. This may not seem a lot when you think of how much you ‘needit but you could always use a dustpan and brush, a mop or even a Roomba Vacuuming Robot which only costs a bargain 20 cents all year. Now that’s innovation.

So just take a moment and think - all those fancy extra gadgets and gizmos that you use to make your everyday life simpler so you can concentrate on your working and family life, could actually be the reason you’re out of pocket every month. Not only does the number of appliances increase year on year when a new coffee machine is bought and the iPod finally has a dock to go with it, but so does the location. Be wary when buying a lovely new house that you still need to pay for air conditioning, and heat the pool as prices of electricity can differ in different states with a difference of as much as $500 a year. Little things like leaving your phone chargers plugged in, over filling your LG French Door fridge and choosing a toaster oven over a bog-standard toaster may seem ineffectual now but over a year (or five), you could really regret not getting into the habit of flicking the switch at the wall.

What is your worst energy habit? Leave a comment...