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A little standby goes a long way

Ryan Block, @ryan
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Ourselves, we never thought all that gear we keep shut off and plugged in really pulled that much off the grid while in standby, and who would? If you just told us that some 10% of our electricity came from gear in standby, we'd outright not believe you. But PC Mag's Bill Machrone was struck by the notion that small amounts of electricity in aggregate could quickly add up, so he rigged up an AC breakout system to meter the juice sucked up by his gadgets and electronics while not in use. The results are pretty crazy: 9% of his yearly electricity was being consumed by his turned-off computer gear (that figure doesn't include turned-off home electronics like TVs, microwaves, etc.). We doubt most of America has as many electronic toys as he or we do, but even a little goes a long way when it comes to 280 million people. Looks like EnergyStar should start with some belt-tightening right quick.

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