Inspired by another thread which brought up the concept of power draw from Qi chargers and just how efficient they might (or might not) be I started wondering what, if anything, people do to reduce their power draw.
Do you do anything to actively reduce your power use?
Select products based on their power efficiency?
Installed solar panels?
Turn off power points to cut out stand by power?
Have some fancy tech that does something?
I’m interested in doing things, like shiny toys, automation, but ultimately I’m full of power-hungry equipment and while I like the idea of being power efficient… I’m also lazy and like my tech to be on when I want it without getting off the lounge.
I spend way too much time working out if something to make me more efficient costs money I’m going to work out if it’s worth investing in or not for my situation.
For example (and there is a spreadsheet that allows you to adjust all the parameters):
You can pay more/less for given bulbs and power costs may be different (and are going up) but an upfront investment in LED does save you money over a short enough space of time to make it worthwhile… but more importantly I like the brighter whiter light LED provides. So LED everything for me!
Solar panels on the other hand really are a long-term investment, my last calculations worked out (and backed by Choice cals I might add) that solar is a 10-year payback. It’s getting better, but there are a whole heap of caveats in there too… like if you’re not actively using the power you’re harvesting, either directly or later through the use of batteries (which add to the cost), it’s quickly not financially worth it for the average punter. In most cases, you’re probably better off putting the money into your mortgage than putting up solar panels.
As you may have noticed, for me it’s all about the financial aspects at the moment.
If I was building a new house I’d love to get all fancy about things and have smart switches on every power point so you could automate turning things on/off from a central control panel at a ‘per power point’ level. Relays + IFTTT config make it all very possible, although it requires having things wired up in a way which supports it, not something that’s easy to retrofit. Although these things are getting more and more affordable. Low voltage LED lighting throughout without having any 240V running everywhere. Again controllable at a per light level (or at least per room).
I’m sure there are lots more, but I’m interested in hearing about your approach?