The US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has launched an interactive Consumer Electronics Energy Calculator. The calculator estimates the amount of energy used by all of the consumer electronics devices in a household and provides tips on how consumers can save energy.
The calculator estimates the energy used based on the electronics products that consumers own and the amount of time they’re used. It comes up with a cost per month and a cost per year to run all the products specified and provides comparisons to the energy use of the average US household. The calculator is available on the GreenerGadgets.org site, which is the CEA’s consumer site for living green, buying green and recycling responsibly.
The CEA released a survey in June that found that 60% of consumers are concerned about their electric bills and energy consumption is the third most important attribute to consumers buying electronics, behind features and price. Samantha Nevels, coordinator of policy communications at the CEA said “Studies have shown that the more consumers understand about their energy use, the less energy they are likely to consume. While consumer electronics manufacturers are producing products that are increasingly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, consumers can learn new habits with the devices they own that will take their personal energy savings even further.”
Review: Anything that gives consumers an indication of their energy use has to be a good idea and this calculator is quite well presented and easy to use and comes up with some useful information.
It is aimed at US households, though, so the costs are based on US energy costs. Nor is it going to be very accurate, because electricity charges will vary across the US, but it’s main use must be in giving some indication of costs and identifying the scale of potential savings.
When people have more information on their power use they do seem to cut back, at least in the short term, so the calculator will help. But as the CEA itself points out, consumer electronics typically account for just 13% of a (US) home’s energy use. There are potentially much more savings to be had from a broader view of household energy use (for instance via smart meters, devices that have come up against much opposition in the US). I wonder whether many people will take action based on a relatively small part of household energy consumption.