Save electricity, reduce bills

Save electricity, reduce bills
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First Published: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 10 41 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 10 41 PM IST
• When working on a laptop, you may not need much ambient lighting; you can use a USB lamp (5V DC) as opposed to a regular 40W or 60W bulb.
• For a night lamp, use a 0 watt bulb or an LED (light emitting diode) lamp.
• Walls in your house which get considerable natural light should be painted in lighter/pastel shades to reflect light. This way, artificial lighting won’t be needed during the day.
Desktop computers
• Wherever possible, use LCD (TFT) monitors instead of CRTs (cathode ray tubes). If you aren’t keen on gaming, avoid installing a graphics card, in particular, models with liquid cooling solutions.
• Disconnect/remove all unwanted hardware from the cabinet, such as unused floppy drives, optical drives, hard drives, expansion cards and so on.
• Set the monitor to automatically shut off or switch to standby mode when idle.
• Turn off the monitor when your computer is unattended, for instance when downloading files overnight.
• You do not need a fully lit screen at all times. Reduce the monitor’s luminosity.
• Reduce the luminance of the backlight to save power when possible.
• Keep the wireless switch turned off at all times, unless you are connected or want to connect to a wireless network.
• Every time you plug your laptop into a wall socket (AC), the battery begins a new charge cycle. Charge the battery only after it has drained fully.
• If you have a graphics card, but rarely use games or 3D applications, make use of tools that help you switch from the discrete GPU to integrated graphics. For instance, the PowerPlay and PowerMizer tools by ATI and Nvidia respectively.
Minimize unnecessary seeking of your hard drive by uninstalling unwanted programs. Defragmenting your hard drive periodically is another good way to avoid hard drive seek time.
• Use the “balanced” mode in “power options”. This will utilize the processor only when needed.
• Keep your laptop free of dust and ensure that it is in a cool area. Improper heat dissipation causes the fan to spin faster, causing further power consumption.
• Whenever possible, charge your cellphone in the car, instead of at home.
• Do not charge the phone overnight. Besides wasting power, it will damage the phone, too.
• When using the computer, charge your phone using the USB port. This uses the power from the PSU (computer power supply), which may otherwise go waste.
• While listening to music alone, it is betterto use stereo headphones instead of hi-fi speakers.
• Instead of keeping the television, music system, printer, scanner, speakers and any other appliance and device on standby mode, switch them off completely. Better still, unplug them from the socket.
• Keep a regular check on your monthly bill to curb power consumption.
Energy calculators online
With the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator, all you have to do is punch in the detailed configuration of your PC or laptop and then hit the “calculate” button. The aggregate of power consumed by all the components is displayed.
• For appliances, try ‘’
This website will help you calculate the power consumption of all electrical appliances used at home or at work.
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First Published: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 10 41 PM IST