This week, students learn about saving energy with electronics by participating in a game where students choose ‘this’ or ‘that’ to see which electronic uses less energy and taking an electronics challenge.
Use of electronics over the last 50 years has risen significantly. In the 1970s, most homes had only one television, with an average screen size of less than 30 inches. Between 1970 and 1990, the number of television sets per Canadian homes doubled. Screen sizes have increased by 50 per cent since 1970, going from 30 inches to around 46 inches. In terms of energy use in the 1970s, most homes used about 290 kilowatt hours a year (kWh/year) to power home electronics. In the 1990s, that number went up to around 485 kWh/year. Today it’s up to 960 kWh/year, just to power electronics like computers and consoles. The good news is that there are some simple things we can do to save energy with our electronics.
With Halloween just around the corner, BC Hydro is warning customers that spooky energy suckers may already be lurking in the home. A recent BC Hydro survey found that vampire power is on the rise, and most British Columbians own electronics and appliances that are sucking up unnecessary amounts of power.
These ‘energy vampires’ include electronics or appliances that continue to draw power, even when turned off, and can account for up to 10 per cent of a household’s electricity bill. The average B.C. home has more than 25 devices that draw vampire power, including everything from televisions to gaming consoles.
Many of these devices are old electronics and appliances that remain plugged in, haunting the house. For instance, half of those surveyed admit to still having a cassette player in the home, while 30 percent still own a VCR.
Here’s how to pull the plug on vampire power in the home:
A greater understanding of ways to save energy when using our electronics empowers students to practice energy conservation and care for their near environment. With your help, we can foster a culture of Power Smart youth in British Columbia together.
We use energy in our daily lives in many ways. We use it to get to school, power our lights, cook our food, heat our homes and to make and transport goods. Some of our energy comes from clean renewable sources like the sun, wind and water. Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are also used as energy sources. They come from ancient plants and animals, and when burned, release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour, trap heat from the sun and warm the Earth.
Choosing renewable energy sources helps reduce the impact of our energy use on the environment. In B.C., most electricity is generated from water, a clean and renewable source. Non-renewable energy sources have a greater impact on the environment than renewable energy sources. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases greenhouse gases and carbon into the environment that had previously been trapped underground.
Our "Electronics Smart" activities provide a link to the core competencies of the curriculum. The activities engage students in learning about ways to save energy with our electronics and how we can all participate in using less energy.
Relevant core competencies:
Personal & Social
The activities also connect to a variety of grade-specific curricular competencies and content in a variety of subjects including Science.