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Our many Digital Devices Digital Devices impact energy use. Ah, the Digital Age. We have gadgets galore, the ability to


manage our homes in new and innovative ways, brilliant images and captivating sounds of modern entertainment options and of course, the internet. Clearly, digital devices reign supreme. Yet these cool new capabilities come with a couple of pitfalls; vampire loads and the issue of “technology reincarnation.” Over the course of the Digital Age, electricity use has continued


to increase. Families have multiple televisions. Computer prices have plummeted, meaning many homes now have multiple computers. Everyone in the family needs a cell phone. Gaming consoles and set top cable/satellite boxes satisfy our desire for entertainment. Major appliances aside, most digital devices do not use 120-volt


power, which is the standard voltage of a home outlet. T ey actually use a lot less. So, trying to plug your brand new smartphone directly into an outlet is going to lead to a fried device and lots of tears from someone. T is is why low-voltage devices come with a power adapter. T ese “wall warts” as some term them, take the 120-volt electricity supplied by Harmon Electric and convert it to say, fi ve volts. Unfortunately, most folks leave their adapters plugged in to make recharging easier. T e problem with this approach is that the seemingly innocuous wall wart uses power even when it isn’t charging a device. 294700 T is invisible energy consumption is oſt en called “vampire load.”


Studies show that 5 to 10 percent of the average home’s energy use is from vampire loads. T e only way to stop this is to unplug the power adapter when it is not in use or employ smart power strips. T ese look like the typical power strip but with a twist - only one socket gets power all the time. When the device or appliance connected to it turns on and starts using power, the remaining sockets receive power too. T is is perfect for entertainment systems, computer set


NO. OF OUTAGES 1


10 3 1 1 1 1


ups and a variety of other situations. Technological advances have steadily increased energy effi ciency


and reduced purchase prices. On its face, this seems like a good thing. Unfortunately, when replacing a product at the end of its life, the tendency is to go bigger, or continue to use the old tech. T is is the second issue I noted - technology reincarnation. For example, fl at screen television prices have plummeted as


technology has evolved - and so has the amount of electricity they use. Consumers wander into the big box store and are dazzled by walls of giant, brilliant televisions. What they used to pay for the paltry 32” model now might net them a 50” giant. And who doesn’t want to see their favorite show or sports event in near life size? But if you spring for the bigger TV, you won’t benefi t from the increased energy effi ciency of the newer technology. T e bigger model uses as much juice as the older, smaller TV, which likely ends up in another room (reincarnated in another setting) still using power. Refrigerators are the showpieces of the evolution of smart


appliances. Many new models include touchscreens and cameras; they communicate over the internet and probably even keep food cold and make ice. Yet what oſt en happens is the old refrigerator ends up in the basement or garage, reincarnated as a dedicated beverage unit or overfl ow. Here are a couple words of advice to help you avoid - or at least


reduce - the eff ects of vampire loads and technology reincarnation. Invest in smart power strips or make a point to use outlets where you can conveniently unplug power adapters when not in use. Don’t oversize your replacement appliances and entertainment gear unless family needs dictate the larger capacities. And recycle the replaced appliances and equipment to stem technology reincarnation. You will enjoy the Digital Age for a lot less.


MONTHLY OUTAGE REPORT CAUSE OF OUTAGE


Animal Lightning Unknown


Planned Maintenance Farm Equipment Hit Line Wind Trees


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NO. OF METERS AFFECTED 1


8


12 3


For the month of October Harmon Electric experienced 18 separate outages. The total members affected were 107 with an average WLPH RII RI


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