Debunking Common Energy-Savings Myths

Common Energy Myths

Myth No. 1: "When an electrical device is switched off, it's off."

Many devices continue to draw energy even when turned off. That’s true of anything with a built-in clock or indicator light, or that you switch on and off with a remote control. The only way to stop the 24/7 power consumption is to unplug the device.

Myth No. 2: "I'll wear out my computer faster by turning it on and off each day.  It's better to keep it running all the time."

The switches and power supplies can endure many more cycles than the rest of a computer’s components. The latter are more likely to die first. Turning off a computer is the best way to save energy. The second best is to put it into hibernate or sleep mode.

Myth No. 3: "Turning lights off and back on consumes more energy than just leaving them on while I'm out of the room."

You use a lot more energy leaving them on even just for a few minutes than you do in that split-second it takes for them to come on.

Myth No. 4: "Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) save energy, but they produce unpleasant lighting and are bad for the environment."

CFLs now produce warmer light similar to that of incandescent bulbs. CFLs do contain a little mercury. But more mercury is released by burning coal to make the extra electricity you’d use if you didn't replace your regular light bulb with a CFL. Contact your local public works department about how to dispose of CFLs properly.

Myth No. 5: "I'll use less energy if I leave my thermostat set at the same temperature around the clock."

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t consume more energy in the process of getting your house back to the desired temperature. Save energy by setting your thermostat to be in sync with your actual heating/cooling needs.