P is for power

My roommates say that I use too much power (and my dad always told me that, too), so I decided to see if there is any truth behind their diatribes

First, I looked up how much it really cost you to leave the lights on— it seems like the type of light bulb you use is more important than obsessively turning the lights on and off. So, if you really want to save money— buy the energy-saving light bulbs. Also, the larger the amount of energy the device uses, the more it’s going to cost you. So basically, using the microwave for two minutes costs more than leaving the lights on for two hours.

Another thing that really costs you is your technology. Most computers are around 300 watts, a plasma television can be around 700 watts. Light bulbs on the other hand are 40 watts, maybe 100. So, watching television for six or seven hours a day adds more than a couple of dollars to your power bill. Leaving your computer on uses up quite a bit of power as well.

I also learned that unplugging appliances and electronic devices really does save you money. Some devices like cell phone charges, cable boxes, printers etc. go into “standby” mode and use a substantial amount of energy. Not everything is this intense, though. Leaving the blender plugged in isn’t going to cost you a fortune.

It seems like the purchases you make before you move in can really make a difference. Next time I go to Walgreens, I’m definitely picking up some compact fluorescent light bulbs and I think I’ll stick to my twenty inch, non-plasma television.

So, I do use too much power, but not because I leave the lights on, because I microwave 75 percent of my meals and blow dry my hair five days a week.

Bridget Mulcahy is a senior in LAS.