What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Energy Costs of Home Computers

My husband recently bought me an iPad so of course I had to compare energy usage to other types of home computers.  We have TOU hydro pricing so anytime we can reduce our energy usage, we do so not only for financial savings but as part of our energy conservation efforts.  I found Saving Electricity to be quite helpful.

On average the annual cost to operate:

  • typical desktop - as high as $631
  • iMac G5 20" - $5.50
  • laptop - $8
  • iPad - $1.36
  • iPhone - 25¢
I replaced the old typical desktop with CRT monitor a number of years ago with an iBook G3 which was replaced with an iMac G4 17" so the annual cost to operate the iMac is a little lower than $5.50.  We each have a laptop which costs a bit more to operate annually but offer greater mobility and they still work during power outages.  My husband has an iPhone with a data plan and I have an iPad equipped with Wi-Fi.  Both of these products offer mobility with low energy use.  All but the typical desktop can be set up to be operated on solar power or for solar charging. 

During high peak pricing, the frugal way for us to access online is the iPad or the iPhone but the iPad is actually cheaper because it connects to our router, not using up the data plan on the phone but using the iMac is rather frugal as well.  We also take advantage of charging laptops, the iPhone and iPad when traveling longer distances in the car.  Since moving into town we do a lot less traveling but charging mobile devices while traveling is cost effective.  We have essentially reduced out energy usage for home computing about as low as we can get. 

Now here is something to consider.  A lot of newer televisions are equipped to be connected to a laptop to be used as a monitor.  I know we can with our Magnavox 37" television as well as the smaller twin Phillips in the games room.   A big screen television can cost you as much as $100 possibly more to operate depending on your usage and age of television.  Using the television screen as a computer monitor adds extra energy cost for no reason if using for home computing.  The extra cost may be warranted if watching a movie or television show via computer using the television as a monitor but not on a daily basis.  However, if watching television and movies via the computer using your television meets your needs you may be able to eliminate satellite tv or cable realizing a substantial annual savings.  Just be aware if using this set up for home computing it does coast more in energy usage.