Pull the Plug on Energy Waste

Pull the Plug on Energy Waste

Pull the Plug on Energy Waste

Many household devices continue to draw power in 'standby' mode. Examples include TVs, cable boxes, cell phone chargers, microwaves and video consoles. Unfortunately, standby power isn't just standing by; it flows through your electrical circuits and on to your monthly bill. Because these devices continue to use energy while they are switched off or not doing their job, they're wasting electricity.

How much is standby power costing you? While it is difficult to measure, one U.S. Department of Energy study estimated that the typical home wastes 450 kilowatt-hours per year through standby power loss, or about $55 at current average electricity prices nationwide. 

What devices draw standby power?

The average home contains 40 or more devices that draw standby power, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Look for devices that include:

  • Remote controls
  • External power supplies
  • Digital displays or digital clocks
  • Battery chargers
  • Soft-touch keypads

Slowing standby power loss

While it is impossible to completely eliminate standby power, there are actions you can take to save energy and money:

  • Unplug devices that are rarely used. Examples include a TV and DVD player in your guest room.
  • Use a power strip with a switch to control groups of devices, such as computer clusters and entertainment centers. Keep devices such as a cable box and wireless transmitter on a separate circuit to avoid loss of connection.
  • Use advanced power strips for computers and other devices. These 'smart' strips can sense when a device is turned off or not being used and will shut off the power automatically.
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR® certified appliances and electronic devices. ENERGY STAR products typically draw less standby power than standard models.

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