Energy Center of Wisconsin | Plugging into savings
  Energy Center of Wisconsin  

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014



... for computers:

  • Make sure your desktop computer is set for system standby after 30 minutes of inactivity (find out how)
  • Don't use a screen-saver: instead, set your monitor to go to sleep after 15 minutes (find out how)
  • Unplug your printer when not in use (but make sure you turn it off first)
  • Turn off your DSL or cable modem at night (or put it on a timer)

... for other electronics:

  • If you have a mini-stereo that you don't use much, keep it unplugged
  • If you have an older TV, keep it unplugged when not in use, or consider a power strip with remote control
  • Check out an energy meter from your local library, and go on a hunt for "leaking" electricity users in your home


Ingo Bensch
Ingo Bensch
Principal Researcher

Scott Pigg
Scott Pigg
Principal Researcher


Plugging into savings

Plugging into savings image The Energy Center of Wisconsin, with the funding support of the Minnesota Office of Energy Security and Minnesota Power Company, directed a timely consumer electronics field study on behaviors and usage patterns of homes across the State of MN. View our news release.

Various household electrical devices, their energy use and related consumer behaviors were explored throughout this year-long study with the ultimate goal of identifying both behavioral and technical savings opportunities. The study encompassed phone, mail and in-home contact as information gathering methods and has wielded some intriguing data.

In the news

12.13.10 | Psst. Confess. Are YOU Guilty?
The average home in 1980 had only three electronic devices. That was 30 years ago. Since then, the electronics industry has grown into a major powerhouse industry. Do you have any idea how many small devices you have plugged into sockets around the house? Check out this blog from Electronic Component News.

09.07.10 | Unplug for Savings
The September/October 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine features an article on the Energy Center's plug load study by Ingo Bensch and Scott Pigg.

06.29.10 | Plug Load Study on Wisconsin Public Radio
Larry Meiller talks with Ingo Bensch and Scott Pigg about reducing the energy load of consumer electronics (38 mins).

06.23.10 | Energy Savings at Home
A news video from Madison's NBC-15 featured Ingo Bensch and Scott Pigg.

06.14.10 | Homes Waste Watts of Power, Study Finds
Tom Content of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlights findings from the Energy Center's plug load study.

Final report and datasets

Final report: Electricity Savings Opportunities for Home Electronics and Other Plug-In Devices in Minnesota Homes: A Technical and Behavioral Field Assessment

Datasets: Three datasets from this research are available for public use. Energy researchers are most likely to find these data of value. See the methodology description and appendices of the final report for further context and survey instruments.

Videos / presentations / papers