Energy Stories

Energy Use Myths & Facts

We've all heard the one about how it's better to leave a computer on all the time to avoid power surges, right? What about leaving flourescent lights on because it's better than shutting them off and then turning them on again?

Are these things true? If not, we're all wasting a huge amount of electricity, right?

Well, I wasn't sure, so I did some searching. I found a web site posted by Michael Bluejay called "Ask Mr. Electricity." He has a page on electricity myths that's fascinating reading. I thought I knew a lot about energy, but I learned a lot by reading what he has to say. So, I highly recommend it.

It turns out that just by learning a few facts, and using them to guide my daily energy use habits, instead of being guided by the myths, I saved some energy without any real effort or painful sacrifice!

Recently, a friend suggested that I watch a short video about 'vampire energy' waste. After watching it, I realized that this is another case where we've all built up habits and designed appliances and equipment based on a history of cheap energy. Rather than looking to blame others or ourselves for doing this, I hope we can all work together to make some changes. Right now, we can use outlet strips to switch off appliances that 'sip' energy while not in use. But I consider that a temporary measure. In the long run, I'd like to see much more 'user friendly' appliances and equipment, with the energy savings built in, or even whole new ways to think beyond separate appliances and consider the entire house or office a 'living energy system.'