If your shopping list includes items such as TVs, game consoles, Blu-Ray players, computers, items using batteries, and other similar gifts, the key is to look for ENERGY STAR®-rated components.
According to ENERGY STAR, a home equipped with ENERGY STAR rated TVs, set-top boxes, a Blu-Ray player, and a home-theater-in-a-box, rather than non-rated units, can save more than $330 over the life of the products.
Check out the amount of energy you may save when plugging in these electronics:
• Televisions. TVs are at the top of many holiday wish lists, and this year there are more reasons than ever to look for the trusted blue ENERGY STAR label when shopping. Televisions that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating are on average more than 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models and come with all of the latest technology that you are looking for this holiday season. The label can be found on TVs of every size, with features like 3D, streaming capability, internet connectivity, and both organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and light-emitting diode (LED) technology.
• Audio components. Are you checking out a soundbar or new speakers this year? Audio equipment that meets ENERGY STAR qualifications are up to 60 percent more efficient than conventional models.
• Blu-Ray Players. Certified Blu-Ray players are on average 45 percent more efficient than conventional models.
• Computers. An ENERGY STAR model will use 30-65 percent less energy than a standard model. In addition, if the user enables the computer’s power management feature, it’s possible to save up to $90 per year on power bills.
• Game consoles. Gaming systems are big sellers during the holidays. New models can now “go to sleep,” just like computers. This means the system enters a power sleep mode when not in use for game play or streaming videos. This is an improvement that will reduce energy use without reducing the excitement of video game play.
Stocking stuffer gifts that may help you save energy:
• Appliances with battery chargers. Cordless power tools, razors, and hair dryers with ENERGY STAR battery chargers may use about 30 percent less energy than conventional models.
• Portable chargers. These battery-powered devices can be used to recharge smartphones, GPS devices, and even music players when users are on the go. Provide rechargeable batteries as part of the gift to enhance the gift and the energy efficiency.
• LED lightbulbs. Prices are coming down, and look for sales to find them under $10. They come in nearly any color you can fathom. These bulbs use far less energy and last far longer than old incandescent and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs; according to energy.gov, some LEDs last so long you could “literally light your current toddler’s lamp through high school,” as an LED may last up to 20 years. One LED may save $95 in electricity costs over that lifetime.
• Energy-efficient power strips. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, many electronics still run up your electric bill even when you’re not using them. Such idle electricity use accounts for roughly 8 percent of household utility costs. The way to prevent this is to plug electronics into a power strip with auto shut-off technology.
For more details, suggestions on electronic hot picks, and ENERGY STAR suggestions, visit www.energy.gov.