Energy Star Modems and Routers
Energy Star Modems and Routers
In today's connected world, we all rely on electronics at home and at the office that don't get much attention (unless they're not working properly,) the modem and the router. Energy Star has announced new standards for energy efficiency for these essential products.
Modems and Routers: Energy Hogs?
As unseen as modems and routers themselves are is the amount of electricity these devices consume in our homes.
Without the modem or router, none of us would be connected to the internet; they have become as essential to modern life as the light bulb or the refrigerator. But little thought goes into the energy required to keep these devices running.
Like many small appliances, modems and routers don't consume much electricity on their own. But the fact that they are turned on, day and night, 24/7, plus the fact that there are millions of these devices running constantly around the country, adds up to lots of energy usage.
A study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council has found that the average home'smodem and router usage is roughly equivalent to that of a 32 inch HDTV. This is 30 times more than a cell phone charger that's left plugged into the wall all the time. In other words, it actually is quite a bit of electricity. This study estimates that U.S. electricity usage just for the modems and routers that keep us all 'online' all the time costs us $1 BILLION.
Energy Star Modems and Routers: A New Category
The government's Energy Star program was set up years ago to help consumers identify the most energy-efficient products in a number of categories such as appliances, furnaces, light bulbs, and more. Energy Star is continually adding new categories , and the latest is modems and routers.
In order to reduce the amount of energy needed for all of this connectivity, Energy Star has added modems and routers to their growing list of efficient products. Currently, an amount of power equivalent to three coal-fired power plants is needed for all of our routers and modems, a level that is way too high.
While many manufacturers currently have more efficient models of modems and routers available, they are difficult to identify due to the lack of Energy Star branding. The new category will change that, and give consumers a new tool for identifying efficient products. The more efficient technology already exists; the Energy Star label will bring it to the forefront, and encourage manufacturers to make further advancements in efficiency.
The New Energy Goal for Energy Star Modems and Routers:25% Less
The new Energy Star requirements for modems and routers requires these items to use 25% less electricity than comparable models, similar to Energy Star requirements for other product categories.
While the average home spends about $6 a year on electricity to power modems and routers, reducing that amount, even by only 25%, will lead to significant energy reductions is spread across the estimated 90 million American homes currently using them.
The new Energy Star certified modems and routers are expected to start arriving to market in 2014.
Further Energy Savings from Modems and Routers
The new Energy Star standards are great, but there are further actions we can all take right now to reduce the amount of energy used by these devices.
Modems and routers, and other associated devices, are usually left on around the clock, whether we're using the internet or not, or whether we're even home or not. This energy usage that's being consumed whether we're actively using it or not is called 'vampire' or 'phantom' power and it's a large source of electricity use in the home. By turning modems and routers OFF when not in use will obviously cut the amount of energy they use.
Plugging modems and routers into power strips make it easy to turn them off when they're not needed. More expensive 'smart' power strips can actually detect when the devices aren't being used cuts the power to a trickle, reducing overall energy usage.
Like everything else in and around our homes, everything we do to use less energy, no matter how big or small, adds up in the long run to less energy consumption and all of its associated problems.comments powered by Disqus