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A World of Gadgets Sends Electricity Use Soaring

A recent article published in the Globe and Mail a report was shared from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing that electricity use from electronics like ‘smart’ televisions, game consoles, and other network based devices is climbing at a rate of 6 percent each year. That is twice the increase for power consumption used globally. According to the agency, these devices consumed more than 600 terawatt hours of electricity worldwide last year. That is equal to the output of 200 medium-sized coal-fired power plants. (Read full article)

10 percent of household energy use is caused by these types of devices, not while they’re in use but while they’re on standby. Moreover, a huge amount of energy is lost by other devices like HVACs. For instance, according to several types of research, when an individual is using an AC that has leaked duct, they are losing more than 20 percent of the energy, which soars up the utility bill by 40 percent. (Note: It appears to be crucial to make sure your air ducts are sealed properly to avoid loss of energy). To be honest, we are using three times more energy than these electronics would need if their manufacturers used the best-available energy-saving technology. Who is paying for this access to unnecessary energy? Consumers.

“Consumers are losing money in the form of wasted energy, which is leading to more costly power stations and more distribution infrastructure being built than we would otherwise need – not to mention all the extra greenhouse gases that are being emitted. But it need not be this way. If we adopt best-available technologies we can minimize the cost of meeting demand as the use and benefits of connected devices grows,” Maria van der Hoeven, EIA Executive Director told the Globe and Mail.

It is important for the Canadian Government to promote energy efficiency. They have introduced new standards for televisions, video equipment and audio equipment to improve energy conservation. In fact, Canada has ranked second for its rate of energy efficiency improvement. The IEA shared that without the use of best-available technology from manufacturers to help reduce usage from network-connect devices, we can expect those devices to consumer nearly 1,200 terawatt hours by 2020.

What else do you think the government should be focusing on and/or regulating to help increase energy efficiencies in Canada?

  • Vehicle fuel efficiency?
  • High efficiency furnaces for residential use?
  • LED lighting for public areas?

Leave us your opinion in the comments below!

Read full article in The Globe and Mail.