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Hmmm. Truth.


Jul. 23rd, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
I can't be bothered to do the sums again, but 10p is about a two hundred and fiftieth of what I saved. So scaled up, the nation as a whole would save on the order of a two hundred and fiftieth of what I calculated.

You can save over a two hundred and fiftieth of your fuel costs by driving *one* mile per hour slower.

Consequently, I conclude that anyone who evangelises unplugging our phone chargers is either an unthinking sheep, an innumerate fool, or is deliberately misleading people. I can assure you, it would be far easier to convince people to drive 1 mph slower than to convince them to unplug everything when they leave the house. Consequently that's what they should be doing.

Yes, I used motorway data. The savings will be less *proportionately* for those who mostly drive in towns (but those people should be using public transport or walking or using a bike anyway, both of which will save far more than unplugging wall-warts) but will be a lot more in total for people who drive more than I do. And bear in mind I drive just once or twice a month. Most people with cars drive a lot more than that.

I don't disregard smaller steps. eg, I do turn off computer monitors at home instead of just leaving the screen saver to run. I just disregard steps that are so small as to be lost in the noise. Turning off all your little devices religously will save *so* little energy as to be utterly irrelevant. You might as well ask people to eat salad once a year "to save the planet".

Now that I've actually measured the power draw of my phone charger when it's not in use (less than 0.1W, which is the lowest my meter would read, so let's assume 0.1W) that comes to about 3MJ in a year. My shower uses that much energy in under 20 minutes. Or assuming a perfectly efficient kettle which doesn't leak any heat at all, that's about the same as the energy required to boil the water for 40 cups of tea. A real kettle is maybe 50% efficient, so that's really 20 cups of tea, or about what I drink in three days. So I stand by my figures.


Nat S Ford
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