Watt Does It use

The go-to blog to save energy, save money, help the earth.

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Watt Does It Use Redesign

I’ve been running WattDoesItUse since 2015 and it has been awesome to see the growth of the site. I’m routinely contacted by users of the site where they talk about how much it has helped them find power consumption for their devices. I’m working to take WattDoesItUse to the next level by redesigning it and adding new functionality with my team. Through this redesign, there will be some lost features. They won’t be gone forever, but I want to hear from users that they are valuable and worth being added back in.

Here are the updates that you’ll see on the new site:

  • Improved and simplified search experience – This will make it easier to find products on the site
  • Consolidated categories – I flattened some of the navigation to make it easier to navigate
  • Administrative updates – I’ve added new functionality to make it easier for me to add more products and to reply to your requests
  • Updated UI – Clean implementation which should make it even easier to look at on different devices
  • New blog – I’m now running the blog on wordpress.com to simplify management of it. It will also make it easier for me to add more posts in the future.
  • Removal of User Accounts – I wanted to call this out specifically as I know a lot of your have user accounts. I’m going to be working on an app for iPhone and maybe Android, that will give you access to the calculator that is currently in the user account. I also plan to add more functionality that will make it easier to find and request power consumption for products.

I plan to shutdown the old site on June 15, 2018. All of the products will be migrated over and I plan to add more products on the new site, so no information will be lost. Stay tuned for the new and improved update by the end of 2019. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks,

Corey

How Do You Celebrate Earth Day?

Well, the day is finally here. Earth Day has kicked off and we hope you taking steps to participate! If you’re a bit lost and don’t know exactly what you can do you can check out our Maximize Your Earth Day article. It’ll get you started and motivate you to implement some of these things into your day so you can get the most out of April 22!

As mentioned in Maximize your Earth Day, this could also be your chance to start implementing these steps into your everyday life. Only you can make the decision to start making a change that’ll beautifully impact your life and the future generation’s experience on our planet. Tell someone! Spread the word! Earth Day has expanded a lot over the last 50 years but everyone needs to participate to fully optimize this idea and strengthen the movement.

What are you doing to maximize your day today? Jump down to the comments and let us know what you’ve came up with to get the most out of today!

How You Can Maximize Earth Day

It has been almost 50 years now since John McConnell spoke at the UNESCO Conference in San Francisco and first proposed the idea of Earth Day. It’s been through many stages since then and has immensely expanded. But now we are in a present where the Earth is arguably at it’s most vulnerable. Here we are going to go over numerous ways to contribute to saving the Earth that will ultimately maximize your Earth Day. First let’s go over a bit of the importance and history of Earth Day.

History

In 1969, John McConnell, a luminary with a passion for peace, religion, and science, spoke at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco and proposed a day to honor the Earth. The first day was to be on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, where many predictions about the future were made by various speakers to try to expand awareness. It also took place in 2,000 colleges and universities all over the United States. The date was changed and founded a month later by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson to April 22 and was held that year.

While the April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 140+ nations, inflating the expansion of the awareness across our globe. Senator Nelson chose the date of April 22 to maximize the participation of younger people, because of the date not occurring simultaneously with spring break or exams, it doesn’t fall on religious holidays and for the overall enjoyable weather of that time of year.

Today more than 190 countries celebrate Earth Day. In 2017 The March for Science will even be held on the same day, hopefully expanding the mission evermore to the entire world. While we are aware of it however, we must participate in some way and do our part to help your home (the Earth) survive and sustain. So lets get started!

Maximize Your Earth Day!

  • Plant a garden outside. What better way to celebrate than to work with the Earth to provide you food for the future.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle. This is a great way to tone down on the plastic consumption that ends up on the ground in one way or another.
  •  Collect rain in rain barrels to water your garden or even to purify and drink! (Check the legality in your state/country)
  • Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Make your own household cleaners. There are many simple recipes available at your fingertips.
  • Use a clothes line outside to dry your laundry.
  • Substitute all paper products like napkins and plates for better solutions, such as a cloth napkin and a washable glass plate.
  • Support your local restaraunts and stores in your community, especially if they get their product from less than 100 miles away from their location.
  • Pay any bills you have online, it’s actually greener!
  • Turn your computer completely off when you aren’t using it.
  • Replace all (or what you can) of your light bulbs in your home to CFLs or LEDs.

These are all perfect ways to enhance your experience on Earth day and at the same time create opportunities for a for a healthier life in the long run. Maybe think of Earth Day as your starting point, a starting point to actually make a change. If you think you have any great ideas to compliment out list,  get in the comments and tell us about it!

WattDoesItUse.com Partners with EPEAT to Reduce Energy Consumption and Carbon Output

WattDoesItUse.com has joined the EPEAT Champions program to increase awareness of green electronics. WattDoesItUse.com allows you to find the power consumption and carbon output of your electronic devices and appliances. EPEAT complements this by highlighting electronics that also meet strict environmental criteria, which factor in design, product longevity, packaging, and manufacturing materials, along with energy efficiency.

“We are thrilled to become an EPEAT Champion,” said Corey Ganser, Founder of WattDoesItUse.com. “EPEAT has a significant impact on the environment by qualifying products that meet strict environmental requirements. This partnership will make it easier for consumers and institutions to make the right decision when purchasing electronics.”

WattDoesItUse will include EPEAT electronics alongside over 50,000 other electronics and appliances.

About WattDoesItUse.com

WattDoesItUse.com was created to make it easier to find and compare the power consumption of electronic devices that someone already owns or is interested in buying. On WattDoesItUse.com, you can find numerous categories with over 50,000 electronics and appliances, along with their power consumption and carbon output.

About EPEAT

EPEAT is the definitive global environmental rating system for electronics. The EPEAT Registry includes the most products from the broadest range of manufacturers and spans the widest array of countries.  EPEAT combines strict, comprehensive criteria for design, production, energy use and recycling with ongoing independent verification of manufacturer claims. More than 757 million EPEAT-registered products have been sold worldwide since 2006, resulting in significant environmental benefits. EPEAT was developed through a stakeholder consensus process and is managed by the Green Electronics Council, a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at epeat.net.

EnerGuide vs ENERGY STAR: why are the numbers different?

For WattDoesItUse visitors that live in Canada, you have an energy rating system called EnerGuide. This is a similar program to ENERGY STAR, which exists in the United States.

We’ve had a visitors reach out asking why the same model showed a higher annual kWh rate on EnerGuide; whereas, on ENERGY STAR it showed less.EnerGuide vs ENERGY STAR

The reason why is that EnerGuide uses a different estimate for usage than ENERGY STAR. For the specific example in question, the visitor was looking for the power consumption of a dryer. The dryer had an EnerGuide estimate of 416 loads/year; whereas, ENERGY STAR estimates annual usage at 283 loads. This is a significant difference and highlights one of the fundamental benefits of WattDoesItUse. We allow you to calculate your own usage, so that you don’t go off of estimates.

Try it for yourself. Find a device and estimate the daily, monthly, and annual power consumption.

New WattDoesItUse Feature: Energy Efficient Recommendations

Energy Efficient Product recommendationsWe’ve just released a new feature on WattDoesItUse: Energy Efficient Recommended Products.

When you navigate to any product on the site, you will now see recommendations of other equally or more efficient products. Let us know your thoughts on this new feature and if there are any other areas of the site that you’d like to see enhanced.

Celebrate International Children’s Day

International Children's DayToday is International Children’s Day, which is celebrated by 47 countries. The United States celebrates on the 2nd Sunday of June. Because children are so important to the future of this planet, we should keep them in mind daily when we make decisions.

To help the youth of the world, make sure you are making smart decisions with how you consume energy. By turning off a light or device, you are directly reducing the carbon output in the atmosphere.  This impacts the air and water that we rely on to live. Take some time today to find devices in your home that you can be smarter about using in order to reduce your overall energy and carbon footprint.

The less you consume, even if you have solar, the more you are contributing back to the grid.  Consuming less reduces the amount that is needed to be generated using fossil fuels. Unless you are completely off the grid, take the time you’re saving and share this information with friends and family.

Over 30,000 and growing

Celebrating 30000 devices and their power consumptionI’d like to announce that WattDoesItUse now has over 30,000 electronics and appliances, along with their power consumption, listed. We will continue expanding our listings to ensure that all of the devices that you own are highlighted.

If you can’t find a device, please fill out our Request Device Power Consumption form, and we’ll find the power consumption for you. Thank you to all visitors who have submitted requests in the past.

Interview With The Largest Residential Solar Company

SolarCity! SolarCity has more residential solar installations than the other 70 largest solar companies. How is this possible you may ask? I had a chance to chat with Dan Lewis, Regional Sales Manager at SolarCity, to understand more about what makes SolarCity so successful.

Dan said that SolarCity was created through inspiration from Elon Musk who needed clean energy to power electric cars (not only the charging of the cars, but also the production of those cars). His cousins, Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, shared his enthusiasm and founded SolarCity. From the beginning, SolarCity focused on managing the whole process of installing solar, including financing. SolarCity uses inhouse financing, so that they can offer the best rates without any caveats.

solarcity

SolarCity has three options for Solar Power: Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA), purchase the system, and leasing. We’ve previously covered purchasing and leasing on WattDoesItUse, but haven’t covered Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA). A PPA allows you to lock in a rate for solar power generated electricity, which is usually less than your utility rate. Since utility rates have historically risen over time, the savings will continue to grow with the locked in rate.

SolarCity is working with Google and have NEST thermostats that report the power consumption and solar monitoring, so that the owners can see in real time how much power they are generating and consuming. Also, because of the close ties to Tesla, SolarCity will leverage the new PowerWall by Tesla for disaster recovery and in the future for off grid deployments.

Dan highlighted that SolarCity warranties and guarantees all of the components, which is more than any other company. Also, for every MegaWatt of solar that is installed for residential, they install solar with a battery backup in a 3rd world country.

As you can see, SolarCity has done a great job of laying a solid foundation in which it has risen to the top. Learn more about SolarCity’s offerings.

Tesla Unveils Renewable Energy For Businesses

Tesla energy storage In a previous post, I mentioned how Tesla is going to be announcing the release of an energy storage product for the home. What I didn’t highlight is that they aren’t just going to stop at the home. Tesla is also making a move into the commercial market. There are already installations of Tesla’s energy storage at companies, like Walmart.

Being able to create energy storage at the commercial scale to power a store like Walmart, has fantastic implications for the residential market. The energy storage is manufactured by Panasonic, through a partnership with Tesla, but Tesla has spent a lot of time promoting and highlighting the strategic benefits to Tesla and to associated companies like SolarCity.

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