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Household Energy Use to Triple by 2030, Due to Power-Hungry Electronics

myuibe, via flickr.Experts call energy efficiency the low-hanging fruit, because it’s cheaper to cut power use than create new energy from fossil fuels like coal.

But our creature comforts — like iPods, cell phones, PCs and plasma TVs — are sucking the life out of advances in energy efficiency around the world, the International Energy Agency says.

In other words, too much fruit is rotting on the vine.

The IEA says in a new “Gigawatts and Gadgets” report that electricity consumption from power-hungry electronics could cause household energy use to triple by 2030. That means increased greenhouse gases from electric generation, and increased electric bills for creating that power.

The agency is urging consumers to choose more power-sipping devices when they go shopping. Technology allows trendy gadgets to be up to 40 percent more energy efficient, but standards are lacking.

It used to be that refrigerators and other appliances used the most electricity in our homes. If you go to buy a new fridge, you’ll see tags that show “estimated energy use per year.”

Our digital gadgets have now surpassed the electric use of “white goods” like refrigerators, Reuters reports.

What to do? Before you go shopping, check out some online guides to greener gadgets:

 
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is typing about issues in the Great Lakes, from advanced biofuels to zero-emission vehicles. Jeff is an environmental journalist and social media evangelist based in Michigan, where the summers are short, the winters are cold, and the stories are plentiful.

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