How to green your home? Let's start in the living room as electronics are sucking up more and more juice--as much as 15 or 20 percent of people's bills.
Low effort: Slay the vampire, or parasitic, load in your home by using power strips. Connect your computer or entertainment center gear to a power strip and flick the power strip off when you're done. A more high-tech approach is a "smart" power strip like this one by Bits. You plug your TV or computer into the Control Outlet (in blue) and peripheral devices like printers to the Automatically Switched outlets. When you turn the TV or PC off, the standby power for the peripherals gets cut automatically.
Medium: Do your homework before upgrading your TV, game player, etc. and make energy efficiency one of your top buying priorities. CNET rates products on energy consumption now and Greenpeace rates individual consumer electronics manufacturers on everything from toxic material to greenhouse gas reporting. Flat-screen TVs, in particular, can create a big jump in energy use if you don't choose with efficiency in mind.
High: Install a home-area network from a company like iControl which integrates home energy management with home entertainment.
September 29, 2009 6:49 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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