Table 11.4 shows the power consumptions, in watts, of a houseful of gadgets. The first column shows the power consumption when the device is actually being used - for example, when a sound system is actually playing sound. The second column shows the consumption when the device is switched on, but sitting doing nothing. I was particularly shocked to find that a laser-printer sitting idle consumes 17 W - the same as the average consumption of a fridge-freezer! The third column shows the consumption when the gadget is explicitly asked to go to sleep or standby. The fourth shows the consumption when it is completely switched off - but still left plugged in to the mains. I'm showing all these powers in watts -to convert back to our standard units, remember that 40 W is 1 kWh/d. A nice rule of thumb, by the way, is that each watt costs about one pound per year (assuming electricity costs 10p per kWh).

The biggest guzzlers are the computer, its screen, and the television, whose consumption is in the hundreds of watts, when on. Entertainment systems such as stereos and DVD players swarm in the computer's wake, many of them consuming 10 W or so. A DVD player may cost just £20 in the shop, but if you leave it switched on all the time, it's costing you another £10 per year. Some stereos and computer peripherals consume several watts even when switched off, thanks to their mains-transformers. To be sure that a gadget is truly off, you need to switch it off at the wall.

Figure 11.3. This wasteful cordless phone and its charger use 3 W when left plugged in. That's 0.07kWh/d. If electricity costs 10p per kWh then a 3 W trickle costs £3 per year.

## Hybrid Cars The Whole Truth Revealed

Hybrid Cars! Man! Is that a HOT topic right now! There are some good reasons why hybrids are so hot. If you’ve pulled your present car or SUV or truck up next to a gas pumpand inserted the nozzle, you know exactly what I mean! I written this book to give you some basic information on some things<br />you may have been wondering about.

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