How Our Nightly Energy Consumption Affects the Environment

How Our Nightly Energy Consumption Affects the Environment

June 10, 2023 0 By Frankie Wallace

Day and night, your home is continually drawing on the electric grid – A closer look at nightly energy consumption. 

When we think about the impact we have on the environment, it’s common to call to mind images of large industry, shipping vehicles, or even the emissions from a fossil fuel-powered car that takes us to work every day. However, it’s easy to forget that our rechargeable devices are also draining on the electric grid, and a growing number of those gadgets – and vehicles – are plugged in overnight.

When combined, our appliances and technology are also having a measurable environmental impact.

In a recent blog post, ExpressVPN showed how we impact environment with the technology we’re using in our homes. Its report and helpful infographic provided insight into the affect our energy consumption has in everything we do, from charging our phones, laptops, tablets and smartwatches to mining bitcoins.  Not only do these activities make a measurable difference on our electricity bills, but it is also leaving a footprint on our world. 

Not convinced? The statistics don’t take long to put things into perspective. According to EnergyStar and US Environmental Protection Agency Data, 75 percent of the electricity we use in our homes is consumed by our electronic devices after they have been turned off! In the US alone, this represents the equivalent annual output of 12 power plants.nightly energy consumption in your home

Phantom load, vampire energy, and how they impact the environment. 

Whether you call it phantom load or vampire energy, it refers to all that power that continues to be consumed even when a device is turned off.  This means that even if you feel that you’ve shut off everything in your home with an off switch (fair enough, your fridge does need to stay on), there continues to be a substantial power drain. 

That said, these days, plug-in electronics are far from the only things we use. It’s not just about television sets and desktop computers anymore. Today, we love to cut cords. That said, those wireless devices run on batteries that need to be recharged. Since we use them all day, the odds are that they’ll be plugged in overnight. hydrogen news ebook

What surprises many people is that many of those chargers that we leave around the house to keep our phones, tablets, laptops and other wireless devices charged will continue to drain power when they’re plugged in, regardless of whether they’re actually charging anything. Therefore, when you plug in your phone overnight, so it’ll be juiced up in the morning, you’ll have continued to draw power from the grid for hours after the device was done charging. With device battery drain, that problem only worsens.nightly energy consumption with ev nightly charging

The popularity of electric cars

Of course, if phones, laptops and the phantom energy from appliances and electronics shut off overnight are already draining the equivalent production level of 12 power plants in the United States, that figure – and environmental impact – will only climb as electric cars rise in popularity, particularly as most people are expected to recharge them overnight.

In the face of these massive overnight power drains and their impact on the environment – let alone the draw we have on the grid when our devices and vehicles are turned on and being used – it will become increasingly important to understand the impact of the choices we make. This is particularly true until we can be secure in the knowledge that our grids can handle this growing load and until those grids are powered by renewable electricity generation that will minimize our carbon footprints.

How much is phantom energy costing american households infographic

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