How much energy is your Wi-Fi router using?
There aren't many appliances in the home that need to be switched on all the time and one that most people don't turn off when it's not in use is their Wi-Fi router.
Perhaps it's the convenience of knowing you can connect to the internet whenever you want. It eliminates the step of having to head over to the router to turn on that all-important switch, giving you ultimate flexibility whenever you want to surf the web.
However, have you ever thought about whether your Wi-Fi router might be running up your electricity bill? After all, it's connected to the mains power supply 24/7 and could be using more energy than you first thought.
How much energy does a Wi-Fi router use?
This can only be calculated if you know what the wattage of your network router is. Yours could consume anything from 2 to 20 watts, although the average is around 6.
Taking a standard rate of 21.63 cents per kilowatt hour, you can therefore expect your Wi-Fi router to cost around $0.0311 per day to operate.
Over the course of a year, it'll cost you somewhere in the region of $11 - that's 95 cents per month.
Is it worth switching the Wi-Fi router off?
This all depends on how keen you are on energy saving. If you're tracking every last cent you spend then by all means switch off your Wi-Fi router when it's not in use.
It might also be worth doing this if you don't regularly use the internet. If you find yourself logging on once a day to quickly check emails then turning off your Wi-Fi router could be in your best interest.
However, if you've got various devices hooked up to it - smartphones, tablets, TV sets - then switching off the router might not be the best option.
If you're going on holiday and are unlikely to need to hook up to the internet for some time then switch it off at the mains - every little bit helps!
What appliances should I switch off for the biggest impact on my bills?
If you're serious about making a difference to your energy bills then there are many other electrical appliances around the home you should perhaps give greater attention to.
Everything from your widescreen TV to your microwave can rack up your bills unless you turn then off completely.
Avoid standby mode wherever possible. While this might make it quicker and easier to switch on your TV, it's probably not worth it when you consider how big an impact it'll have on your bills.
You'll need to keep an eye on your games consoles, as a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council shed light on just how much energy they're consuming. It found the newest consoles on the market consume more energy each year playing video or in standby mode than they do while games are played.
In fact, almost half of the Xbox One's annual energy consumption takes place while it's in standby mode, so making the trip over to the switch could be just what you need to bring down your bills.
Set-top boxes are also big offenders in the energy consumption stakes, while notebook computers and printers can increase your bills if left in standby mode.
It's also a good idea to buy the most efficient appliances you can find, as they will prove most cost-effective to operate in the long run. Go in search of those with the highest star rating - and Energy Star accreditation is well worth a look.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott