High-tech gadgets will overtake appliances as energy-suckers, says report

Primed to overtake kitchen appliances and lighting as the biggest drain on domestic power, high-tech gadgets — we’re talkin’ to you, iPhone — will use nearly half an average household’s energy by 2020, according to U.K. nonprofit Energy Saving Trust. In a report cleverly titled “The Ampere Strikes Back,” EST points out that many new gadgets don’t even have off buttons, but are supposed to be left “in a permanent state of readiness to swing into action” — on standby, sucking up energy. Computers are one of the biggest energy-guzzling culprits; EST points out that in 1982, only 3 percent of homes had a personal computer, and only 0.7 percent had a personal printer (remember those days?). Now, of course, those numbers have shot up, as have the stats for number of televisions per household; TVs on standby will gobble 1.4 percent of household electricity by 2020, according to the report. But hey, maybe the iPhone will make TVs and computers obsolete. We knew we needed one.