Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where to put your power points?

Having moved in our new home not too long ago and this coinciding with my increased passion for energy efficiency and sustainable home design, many "home renovation" ideas have been added to our family's "to do list".  One of our key considerations, is how we function with existing infrastructure in our house (one of the key "environmental" principle - reuse), or alternatively what we would need to do to the house to make our life easier or improved without creating a significant cost to the environment.

One of the things that should be considered, but may not seem so obvious to most people and surely should be towards the top of the list, is the location or placement of the humble power point or power outlet. Why, you might ask?

In the modern household, power points are typically low down, in the corners of rooms throughout the household or just generally tucked away. However, if you re-locate these to locations that are higher on the walls or just surrounding the "edges" of your furniture, you will be encouraged to turn off your appliances at the wall. Through this simple re-location, you have the potential to create significant environmental and energy savings in your home (particularly, if you live in a typical modern, western household).

The mere action of moving power points to more accessible and more prominent locations means you are more likely to turn them off (at the wall) when your appliance isn't in use and if you're really diligent even remove the appliance's plug from the power point. Why do you need to remove the appliance's plug from the wall as well? There is actually a small amount of current used by many modern appliances even when they are turned off at the wall but remain plugged in, quite often to run memory requirements or maintain batteries, etc. Therefore, the simple act of removing the plug to the appliance from the wall removes this energy requirement and save you money.  

All in all, the action of turning off appliances at the wall means you save electricity, money and  reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and "obviously" save the planet in the process. And all this is more likely to happen if you can see your power points and reach them.  

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