Nov 11 2011
Do We Use Too Much Energy?
 

The urban myth is that the US uses too much energy from fossil sources; some from home and more than enough imported from neighbors and from countries far away. Could we either use less energy or should we use our energy resources better?

You only have to look at your utility bills to see that the price of basic energy sources is rising far higher than America is prepared to pay. The call for using renewable resources has grown stronger in the past decade, but the country is still a long way from thinking and acting green.

Why Should We Care?

The rumors are true; the world is running out of energy sources. You might not see a shortage in your lifetime and your children will be ok as well, but what of their children? If the country doesn’t act now what will our grandchildren say when the government tells them that the oil supplies just ran out?

There are so many plans in place to use renewable energy that it’s a wonder the oil companies are still alive. You can take energy from the sun and the wind and know that tomorrow the resource won’t have out down. In fact; it will be as good as the day before as the day after.

You already know that it’s better to eat locally grown produce, so why not act the same way about energy sources?

Clean, affordable energy is a reality that many don’t wish to learn about. Perhaps it’s because of the capital cost of buying into a new system. As in any sale, the customer needs to be aware of the benefits:

· They help to keep the air clean

· It makes use of natural resources

· It makes good use of sustainable recourses

· There is work created for American employees

· It reduces the dependence on foreign supplies

· The US can export its technology

· The US dollar stays in the US

· You show commitment to your children – they do what you do.

So Can You Use Less Energy?

Appliances connected to the main electrical supply do use some electrical charge even if the piece of equipment is turned off. Just being connected sends a small voltage to maintain those always on red lights on the front of your DVD and television set. Only by removing the plug do you completely disconnect the electric supply.

You have a choice to make. Do you want to use less energy and have lower electricity bills or do you insist on using the remote to turn everything on as it’s too much trouble to pull plugs out of sockets?

Your air conditioning unit and your DVD player are probably never turned off or disconnected. You wouldn’t want to have to set your DVD recorder timer every day, so the convenience required for everyday living needs to be in balance with green goals.

Standby power on every machine in your home can account for as much as 10% of your monthly bill. Experts say the use of standby can equal 15 or 30 watts. Multiply that by the American population and see how much power the country is leaking every year.

Computer On or Off?

Another urban myth surrounds the use of computers. Do you turn them off when you’re not using them or is the energy required to start up our computer, printer, monitor and scanner more than the overnight use?

Back in 2000, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories found that 122 million displays and terminals were left on over a full twenty-four hour period. Imagine how many have computers these days. The laptop remains on charge when you’re not using it, but at least the increased use of tablets might mean that power drain is less.

You have a power management system on your computer to keep power drain to a minimum. It’s still a lower power drain to turn your system off completely when you go out for lunch, or turn off over night. The sleep mode might turn off your monitor, but your computer won’t need to be restarted.

Screen savers are worse than expected; they drain power to keep them going. They’re intended to stop an image being burnt into your monitor, but today’s monitors won’t allow an image to be burnt into them anyway.

So make the green choice, and once your home is green, look for green last minute cruises to complement your new lifestyle.

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