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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Electricity Savings Opportunities for Home Electronics and Other Plug-In Devices in Minnesota Homes

Electricity Savings Opportunities for Home Electronics and Other Plug-In Devices in Minnesota Homes

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Office of Energy Security (OES) and Minnesota Power supported a study by the Energy Center of Wisconsin to investigate electricity savings opportunities in Minnesota homes related home electronics and other plug-in devices. This 94-page paper outlines the results of this technical and behavioral field assessment. The study relied on extensive metering and interview data for 50 Minnesota households that were selected to be representative of the larger population of Minnesota homes.

Among the findings:

  • Plug-in devices (excluding major appliances and lighting) were estimated to consume 15 - 30 percent of a typical home's electric usage. Home electronics (computers, televisions, audio, etc.) made up about half of this.
  • Several low- and no-cost ways were identified that can reduce electricity used by plug-in devices, including:enabling computer power management;manually unplugging devices that draw standby power when not in use;manually turning off devices that are left on but not used; using "smart" power strips to eliminate power consumption of peripherals when the main device is turned off; using timers to eliminate electricity use by devices that are only used at certain times of the day
  • The report estimates that there is an average of 300 - 600 kWh per year of savings opportunities per home related to the above strategies, with a large range depending on the home.
  • The study found that the greatest opportunity for programs to help households reduce their load from plugged in devices is educational in nature.

The study also includes a useful Program Strategies section (pages 33 - 42) that discusses barriers to more energy efficient choices and actions by homeowners, promising interventions to influence people to save electricity with their plug-in devices, opportunities for utility programs, and guidance and opportunities for program design. (PDF Format; 94 pages)


Energy Center of Wisconsin

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
May 2010

Associated Sectors:

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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