News: Always-on devices are using huge amounts of energy

Take a look around most American homes and you’ll see plenty of appliances, smartphones, chargers, computers and other electronic devices plugged in – all the time.

Most people don’t give the practice a second thought. But a new study from the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests the powering of so many devices around the clock is using huge amounts of energy – $19 billion worth of electricity on an annual basis, equivalent to the output of 50 large power plants.

In California alone, the study found that these inactive devices account for nearly 23 percent, on average, of the electricity consumption of homes.

“One reason for such high idle energy levels is that many previously purely mechanical devices have gone digital: Appliances like washers, dryers, and fridges now have displays, electronic controls, and increasingly even Internet connectivity, for example,” Pierre Delforge, the report’s author and NRDC’s director of high-tech sector energy efficiency, said. “In many cases, they are using far more electricity than necessary.”

Read the full story. (CBS News)