The energy saving lighting pages in the electrical section have been updated by Practical Home Energy Saving. Check out the lighting FAQ if you need help with the terminology. Over 10% of home electricity consumption is by lighting so this is an obvious area to make savings. How often have you left the room leaving the lights on or switched the light on in daylight because the curtains are drawn. The simplest way to save on lighting costs is to turn lights off when not needed. Energy saving bulbs are available in most of the common variants making it easy to replace incandescent bulbs. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are becoming more cost effective giving even bigger savings than the more well known CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) type energy saving bulbs. As LED lamps become cheaper and available in more types it is inevitable that CFL lamps will very gradually disappear however the decision to change from CFL to LED is a difficult one to justify on cost grounds because the saving in absolute electricity used is much smaller than between incandescent and CFL bulbs.
The simple computer electricity saving tips and the computer electricity saving page have been updated by Practical Home Energy Saving, they can all be found in the electrical section. Do you really know if your computer is switched off? Maybe it is in a standby or hibernation mode, even if it is powered off (according to the computer) it will still be drawing some power from the mains. Power measurements on a range of computers with ages varying from a few months to six years gave a power consumption of between 3W and 13W even when powered off. Standby and hibernation modes gave even higher consumption. The situation with peripherals such as monitors, scanners and printers is no better. The easy answer is to make sure the computer and all peripherals are switched off at the mains. If you do need to leave the computer powered make sure it is in the most energy efficient mode possible compatible with the usage and make sure peripherals not needed are powered from a separate switched socket. An alternative is to power peripherals via a device such as an ‘Intelliplug’ which only powers the peripherals when the computer is powered.. There is a myth that powering down computers when they are not needed damages them – this is a load of rubbish.
The lighting failure page in the energy saving lighting section has been updated by Practical Home Energy Saving with the latest failure information. As we started changing all the bulbs in our second house in November 2009 and having had the first failure of a low energy bulb we decided to set up a long term monitor to find out if these energy saving lamps live up to the manufacturer’s promises in real use. The tables below list only the low energy bulbs in the house along with use and type. The first table lists the lamp failures to date and the second shows the low energy bulbs currently in use. Energy saving light bulbs shown as new on 1st November 2009 moved in with us and are between 1 and 3 years old – other bulbs were brand new on the date shown. We have retained guarantee and price data for all the new bulbs so we can see if they live up to expectations. In 2012 we started changing CFL bulbs to LED types.