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Jun 11, 2008


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Joined Jun 11, 2008
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[FONT=&quot]Surprising Home-Energy Hogs[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Oliver J. Chiang[/FONT][FONT=&quot]It's the small appliances that can waste the most electricity.[/FONT]
BURLINGAME, Calif. -- Digital picture frames are small, so it's hard to think of them as energy hogs. But if each U.S. household had one of these frames running around the clock, it would take five [FONT=&quot]power plants[/FONT] to run them all, says the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an electricity-focused research and development nonprofit.
Large home appliances like refrigerators and dryers are typical examples of energy-hungry devices, but energy hogs don't necessarily need to be large in size. Small devices are also collectively sucking a lot of energy from the [FONT=&quot]power grid[/FONT], and as these devices become commonplace their energy consumption rises exponentially. "It's the subtlety of the effect of large numbers of very small consuming devices," says Tom Reddoch, the executive director of energy utilization at EPRI.
Other small energy hogs include mobile phone chargers and laptop power adapters that are always plugged in to electric outlets. These chargers continue to draw energy even when the devices they charge have been disconnected. And "always-on" appliances like printers or speakers are called "energy vampires" because they also suck up power even when they're turned off or in an idle state.
Slaying energy vampires, however, is worthwhile in the long run. While a refrigerator typically accounts for about 8% of the typical household's total annual energy consumption, Reddoch says, vampire devices account for about 4%.

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