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What is an electricity saving box and does it actually work?

By Tiffany Reynolds

Are you frustrated about the current high fuel prices? While natural gas generates about 40% of electric power in the U.S., you can anticipate a rise in your electricity bills. In January 2021, the national average household electricity rate went up by 8%, the highest increase ever in this decade.

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Power Wizard recommends taking charge of your energy usage by implementing measures that cut your utility cost. The electricity saving box is one household appliance that keeps popping up in energy saving efforts. Here is some insight into how an energy saver power strip works and alternative ways to use less power.

Is an Electricity Saving Box a Real Energy Saver?

A power saver device is a small appliance plugged into any Alternating Current (AC) power outlet to improve energy efficiency. As a consumer, you have a right to think, does the electricity saving box work? Read on to find out the truth behind power saving boxes.

Companies claim you can cut down 25-40% of your electricity bills by simply plugging in the appliance. The energy saving box is made of a system of capacitors that help stabilize the electricity in your home. The electricity flowing throughout your home often experiences rises, falls, and surges in the current.

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Your electricity saving box stores the electricity in the capacitors and releases it in a smooth output without any surges. Manufacturers further claim that the energy saver device uses an active power factor correction to reduce domestic electricity consumption and wastage. The concept is valid and legally accepted. To better grasp the device’s practicality and ability to save energy, you need to understand these three things.

  • Type of electrical load.
  • Key electrical phrases like kilowatt (kW), reactive power (KVAR), and apparent power (KVA).
  • The formula electric companies use to calculate electricity rates for residential, commercial, and industrial consumers.

Every house has two main loads: resistive devices like heaters and lamps and capacitive or inductive appliances like computers, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Resistive loads have one power factor, while capacitive loads may have less than one power factor. The inductive or capacitive loads store energy and release about 50 or 60 times per second on every AC cycle, lowering the power factor.

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In the mentioned basic power terminology:

  • kW represents real power. It is the actual energy you use to perform tasks using household appliances and is recorded in your utility meter box.
  • The reactive power is measured in KVAR. Domestic consumers don’t pay for KVAR like kW as they don’t use it in doing work. Household meters don’t record their usage.
  • Apparent power or KVA. To get this reading, you need to multiply your voltage and current readings.

The power factor (PF) is determined by dividing the real power by the apparent power, and the figure ideally needs to be 1. A PF of 1 describes clean and efficient household power usage. If the PF is less than 1, then the power usage of your electrical devices has increased. The electricity saving box helps solve the lag and fluctuating problem in capacitive or inductive loads, improving the appliance’s net PF.

The electric utility bills you pay are based on real power, not apparent power. The electric company calculates your real power in kilowatts by multiplying the apparent power by the power factor. You can also determine the real power by multiplying the voltage by the current in amperes and the power factor.

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When performing a home energy audit, you can use our power calculator to estimate your monthly energy savings.

What Benefits Does It Offer?

As per the manufacturer, your electricity saving device helps minimize energy loss by actively correcting the power factor. The device achieves stable voltage by smoothing any erratic flow of electric current in your home. The fluctuating current goes to waste by converting into heat energy and dissipating into the environment.

Electrical overheating further poses a serious risk to your household appliances. The device also eliminates carbon from the circuitry to further improve your power quality. While minimizing energy loss, the device also ends up preventing power surges. Electric surges reduce the service life of electronic appliances and are a leading cause of electric fires.

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Consider employing a wholesome surge protection strategy to protect your residence from electric surges. The strategy will involve using point-of-entry and point-of-use surge protection devices (SPDs) to mitigate external and internal causes. Lightning arrestors will safeguard and protect devices from external power surges. The energy saving device is an excellent example of a point-of-use SPD.

Alternative Ways to Lower Power Consumption

You can follow these alternative energy efficient practices to reduce your energy consumption.

1. Unplug Items Not in Use

Even when electronics are off, they use standby electricity conservatively called vampire or phantom power. The total average electricity wasted on phantom consumption in the U.S. equals the annual output of 12 power plants. To get rid of vampire power, ensure you unplug your TVs, microwaves, scanners, and printers when not in use.

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Consider investing in an energy saver power strip if you have several gadgets drawing power from a single output. A power strip prevents phantom energy loss by turning off the flow of electricity to appliances not in use.

2. Turn Off the Lights

Switching off the lights after leaving the room has a power-saving effect. If you constantly forget to turn off the lights, consider getting smart lights and switches which you can monitor and control using your smartphone.

During the day, make use of natural light. You can use intelligent lights or timed sensors for outdoor lighting to minimize wastage.

3. Wait Until You Have a Full Load of Laundry

Washers and dryers will use about the same amount of electricity to wash a small load as they do a full load. It’s more efficient to hold off on laundry until you have a full load. Also, when beginning a wash load, consider selecting the cold setting unless the clothing label specifies a specific temperature. Water heating can use up to 90% of the energy necessary to wash a load.

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Using cold water can help you save a lot of energy and keeps colors from fading. Consider using high-efficiency detergent when front-loading your cloth washer. The detergent contains enzymes that remove stains and grime from clothing at lower water temperatures. They also reduce your machine washing and rinsing time compared to regular hand washing detergents.

4. Power Off Computers at Night

Computers are among the highest power consumers, especially if you have a home office. Shutting down your computer after each use has electricity saving benefits. Alternatively, manually adjust your computer’s energy settings or use pre-installed energy saver settings.

This feature dims the brightness and sets your computer into standby mode after ten minutes of inactivity. Also, consider turning off any external accessories like speakers or printers when not in use. You can turn off your computers over 40,000 times without affecting their lifespan. Even if you retain your computer for 5-7 years, you’re not likely to get close to that figure.

5. Use LED Bulbs

Are you looking for a quality long-term energy saving bulb? LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are the most energy-efficient lighting option in the current market. These bulbs use 75% less electricity and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They are also more durable and offer relatively better light quality than conventional bulbs.

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Individual LED bulbs are the size of a pepper fleck and can emit red, blue, and green colors. They emit 90% less heat than incandescent bulbs, which helps minimize energy loss. LEDs efficiently emit light in a specific direction which is ideal for:

  • Task lighting
  • Under cabinet lighting
  • Recessed downlights
  • Walkway lighting
  • Refrigerated case lighting
  • Modular lighting
  • Garage lighting
  • Holiday lights

LED technology is to continue growing with continued innovation in the years to come.

Bonus: Look Into Energy Saving Programs

Electricity plays a key role in our daily lives and the cost of living. Getting smart appliances and taking energy conservation habits is a great way to lower your utility bills. You can also get into an energy saving program that fits your lifestyle.

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The local governments often works with utility providers to design, develop, and implement energy efficiency initiatives. A few examples include:

  • Appliance standards
  • Building codes
  • Financial incentives
  • Residential retrofit initiates
  • Direct install programs
  • Domestic weatherization

For further inquiries into energy saving habits and programs that lower your electricity bill, contact Power Wizard today.

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