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Andrea Lemon

Our Bosch induction cooktop constantly draws 7W. Not good, but at least it's not the Jenn-Air cooktop that continuously draws 40W:


Marc Rosenbaum

I haven't measured what our Frigidaire range has for a phantom load, maybe when it gets moved to the next house we'll get an eMonitor. What I was aiming at in this post was not so much phantom loads (which are worse, since we're not getting useful service from those) but rather the small items that give us service, but run all the time to do so.


I went around measuring everything that's plugged in a while ago, results at http://sandeen.net/wordpress/energy/watts-on/

The computing pieces do add up. I recently got a combined DSL modem + wifi router, hoping to replace 2 wall-warts with one, and save 5W or so ;)

The radon fan is one of our biggest always-on devices, at about 20W - maybe the same fan as your toilet. :) The refrigerator(s!) averaged over time are also pretty big always-ons, when I measured they were 20W & 30W average draw.

I did reduce the home server from 40W to 18W a while back, which made a good dent in the base load power.

But I've recently somehow jumped from about 140-150W minimum overnight to 180-190W - and I can't figure out what it is. Time for a multi-circuit energy monitor I guess.

Ted Lemon

Internet: 13w (actually, this includes whatever standby circuit is in the TV, and doesn't include the cable modem, which is in the garage, beyond the reach of our monitoring system). HRV: 19w (this is the lowest setting, which is usually where we keep it). Security/fire panel: 14w (this includes all the smoke, heat and CO detectors). Cooktop: 8w. Energy monitoring system (!): 6w. Microwave: 3w. The oven is registering 0w, which I guess means that its LED display is drawing <1w, which is nice. The refrigerator draws too little to measure when it's not running, but of course it's a constant cyclical load.

Marc Rosenbaum

Thanks Eric and Ted for responding. Ted, is that security panel something you chose, or is that what we get today when we meet code for smoke and CO detectors?

boone guyton

I found dealing with water to be my biggest loads. The "small" water feature pump was using 2.5 kwh per day or nearly 75 kwh per month so we put it on a timer. Our dehumidifier for our bermed daylight basement was usingover 3 kwh per day or 91kwh per month until we stopped opening up at night to cool it down. this was letting in a lot of humidity and we would have to start over each day. Keeping it closed cut consumption down by more than half.
I wrote about the results of the last year after implementing several measures to reduce use. http://wncgreenblogcollective.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/end-of-year-energy-accounting/

Dan Beideck

Comcast also has boxes for cable TV that must be used for all TVs, at least in our area. No more analog channels where you could simply plug the cable directly to the TV. The simplest box draws about 2-3 W and can't be turned off without unplugging it. I've connected it to a powerstrip to make that a little easier to do.

Ted Lemon

The security box is a combination of requirements from the CC&Rs for our subdivision. We're required to have a burglar alarm for some reason, and although strictly speaking Vermont doesn't have a building code, the fire department got some concessions during the permitting process for the subdivision, and consequently we are required to have a monitored fire alarm system.

Personally I consider this a win because otherwise you wind up throwing away a lot of batteries, and getting woken in the middle of the night by hungry smoke alarms. However, it wouldn't surprise me if the system is drawing more power than it needs to. Our battery backup is a single lead-acid cell in the security/burglar alarm panel.

Marc Rosenbaum

Thanks Boone and Dan for your contributions.
Ted - do you mean that your smoke detectors don't have built-in batteries? That's definitely worth something!


Dan, the NRDC had a press release last year stating "Also known as set-top boxes, these devices squander the equivalent annual energy output of six coal burning power plants (500 MW) because they are not equipped to power down when not being used."

For very basic digital cable you can usually just use the built-in TV tuner without the cable box, still. That's what I do; won't work for scrambled channels though. If the cable box boots up fast enough then yeah, unplugging is the way to go. I got a "Belkin Conserve" power strip with a remote switch to turn all the TV stuff off at once, it's pretty handy. Only downside is the Roku streaming device which takes a surprisingly long time to boot.

Ted Lemon

Yes, that's right. The only battery is the lead-acid backup battery in the panel. We had some issues with the smoke detectors in the apartment feeping incessantly right around the time we were specifying the fire/burglar alarm system, so we made sure we wouldn't have that particular problem. There may, of course, be some other problem lurking, but why borrow trouble? :)

Madison Pedley

We don’t usually turn of the lights in the living room. The lights and the modem use electricity in our house 24/7.


I am shopping for an energy efficient cable modem. Turns out that comparing energy use is harder than it should be because many manufacturers simply do not report it and Energy Star doesn't rate modems. That's just nuts for an item that runs 24/7, needed or not.

I found a Motorola listed at 9W. Wondering if you or your Net Zero friends have suggestions for something better?

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