This Holiday Season, it Pays to be Power-Wise

Holiday Gift

By Samantha Nevels, CEA

Looking for new ways to save money on your energy bill? You’re not alone. A consumer survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ® found that 60 percent of consumers are concerned about their electricity bills. The good news is that consumer electronics products account for only 12 to 15 percent of an average home’s energy use.  Nevertheless, every little bit of unused energy saves you money and reduces energy demand.

The first step in cutting energy costs is understanding your energy usage. CEA has made this easy through a new, interactive Consumer Electronics Energy Calculator available at With a few simple steps, this calculator will estimate the amount of energy used by your consumer electronics devices. All you have to do is select which electronics devices you own and estimate how many hours per day you use them. The calculator will then determine your energy cost per month and per year, and compare your energy use to that of the average U.S. household.

Below are a few quick and easy tips that will make a difference this holiday season:

  • Give the gift that gives back. Electronics are a popular gift for the holidays, and now you can give a great gift that also gives back.  Look for the ENERGY STAR if you are purchasing electronics this holiday season. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program recognizes energy efficient products that will save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the climate.  You can find more information on ENERGY STAR certified products at


  • New electronics gift? Recycle the old one. Whether you get or give an electronics gift, be sure to reuse or recycle the old one, enabling the valuable materials to be used again in new products while helping to save natural resources. Check out EPA’s e-Cycling guidance for more information. CEA also offers a  recycling site locator at


  • Pay attention to the plug. Plug electronic devices, such as televisions, DVD players, game consoles and audio systems, into eco-friendly power strips, or unplug devices altogether when they are not in use.
  • Read the fine print. Check your electronics owners’ manuals to make sure you are taking full advantage of any energy-conservation capabilities that your devices may have.


With these quick and easy tips you’ll be on your way to having more money in your pocket and contributing to a better, more sustainable environment.

About the Author: Samantha Nevels is the coordinator of Policy Communications for the Consumer Electronics Association.

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