We debunked 15 myths about energy usage and savings to help you through this winter and beyond.
Myth: “Plugging in device designed for higher voltages (i.e. 240V) uses more electricity than a device designed for lower voltage (i.e. 120V).”
Fact: “The voltage does not impact how much electricity is used. Instead, watts are what count when it comes to energy consumption. The output of a device’s power (the volts), is converted to the amount of wattage (electricity), needed to make the device work, therefore no additional electricity is used.
Myth: “When I turn something off, it’s off and not using any electricity.”
Fact: Not all devices or appliances actually power off when you turn them off. If you turn off a device or appliance but keep it plugged in, it may still be using electricity either in a sleep mode or standby mode. If you don’t need it to be plugged in, unplug devices to ensure they are off, and you are little by little reducing energy consumption.
Myth: “Using space heaters instead of my central heating system will reduce my energy bill.”
Fact: This is not always true for everyone. If a portable heater is powered on for long hours or even all day, it can be more expensive than turning on the central heating in your home. However, using a portable heater in one or two rooms of your home for a short period can save money on your electric bill. Remember space heaters can be dangerous – never keep one turned on while you’re sleeping.
It Does Not Take More Energy To Turn Lights On and Off
Myth: “It’s better just to leave the lights, heater or AC, computer, etc. powered on because it uses less energy than turning them on/off each time.”
Fact: Not every electrical device requires a huge burst of power when you turn it on. Only a few electronics actually use a bit more power to turn on, but the difference is so slight that you’re actually using more energy by keeping electric devices constantly powered on.
Your Lighting Choice Does Make A Difference
Myth: “Energy efficient light bulbs won’t make a big difference on your electric bill.”
Fact: Energy efficient LED light bulbs WILL save you money! In fact, incandescent light bulbs use more than 4 times the amount of energy for the same brightness as LED light bulbs. For outside, consider using solar lights when you are just looking for a small amount of light to illuminate a path.
Myth: “Halogen lighting is super energy efficient.”
Fact: Halogen lights require transformers that use extra energy even when the light is off. While Halogen lights do use less energy than incandescent lights, the winner really is fluorescent lighting, which is three times more efficient than Halogen lighting.
Myth: “Setting the thermostat significantly higher or lower will heat up or cool down your home faster.”
Fact: No matter what temperature you set your thermostat at, your furnace or boiler will work equally as hard and fast to meet that goal. The only difference achieved by setting the temperature to a higher degree is that the system will work for a longer period of time, therefore using more energy. The same applies to air conditioners when set to a lower temperature than desired. Another downfall of setting the heat higher is that eventually the air conditioner may kick on to cool the room back down to your actual desired temperature.
Myth: “Hand washing dishes instead of running the dishwasher saves energy.”
Fact: All the hot water used while hand washing a load of dishes can actually use more energy than a dishwasher cycle. Remember, it takes energy to heat water to get hot water. Thankfully most dishwashers now have energy-efficiency settings to help reduce the amount of (hot) water and energy used when it runs too.
Is Your Charger Using Energy When You Aren’t Charging Anything?
Myth: “Electronic chargers can stay plugged into the wall all the time because they only use energy when charging a device.”
Fact: This is only true for some chargers – but not all. In fact, most chargers that remain plugged into the wall use “vampire power” when a device isn’t attached for charging. A good way to spot this is if your charger is warm to the touch, which is why it’s better to just unplug chargers when not in use.
Myth: “Computers left in sleep mode overnight saves more energy than shutting it down.”
Fact: Your computer uses more energy to stay in sleep mode for long periods of time (like overnight) because it has to maintain constant readiness to turn on at a moment’s notice. Instead, the amount of energy needed to start up after shutting down your computer typically uses less energy, and therefore can contribute to lowering your energy bill.
Myth: “Energy efficiency products increase the initial cost of a house.”
Fact: It’s true that a lot of energy efficiency products are expensive but, in many cases, there is actually no or even less initial cost. It’s usually the premium efficiency products that cost more, but that’s likely due to the products’ features or warranty, for example, and not a higher cost for efficiency, specifically.
Myth: “Buying an energy-efficient air conditioners and/or heating systems will automatically reduce your energy usage.”
Fact: Actually, these systems only work if installed correctly – and surprisingly that is not always the case. Make sure yours is installed properly, for these systems could be using more energy only for you to benefit from two thirds of the heated or cooled air actually produced!
Myth: “Duct tape is great for preventing heating system air leaks and sealing ducts.”
Fact: Unfortunately, even duct tape isn’t a match for those dusty, dirty surfaces around a heating system. Try Mastic tape instead, which can be more durable than duct tape in these situations.
Fix Your Faucets! Save Water and Use Less Electricity!
Myth: “Leaky faucets are NBD (no big deal).”
Fact: In fact, they ARE a big deal. Did you know that one faucet leaking two drops per second wastes about 200 gallons in a month? And you can imagine the additional consequences if that leaky faucet happens to be hot water… (see tip #8)
Myth: “Pay as you go costs more.”
Fact: Pay as you go energy service can actually save you money, and Pogo Energy helps you do that by sending you a daily text message! Switch to Pogo Energy and start your days by knowing how much energy you’ve used, how much you spent, and how much is left in your account so you can add more to your account when you need to.
Pay as you go literally helps you keep track of how much electricity you use, and with Pogo we take pay as you go electricity one step further and send daily texts. Our daily text messages make it easy for you to track your energy usage and see how much you are saving.
As a bonus we’ll debunk one more energy saving myth: “switching electric companies is hard work and a hassle” – FALSE! Fact: Switching could not be easier when you switch to Pogo Energy. Sign up in 60 seconds on our website and we’ll do the rest, including the break-up convo with your old provider (don’t worry, Pogo’s got your back!).
So, what are you waiting for?? Switch to Pogo Energy today!