If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a lot of gadgets plugged in at all hours of the day, including TVs, cable boxes, video game consoles, DVD players, and phone chargers. The typical American household owns about 25 of these gadgets that waste energy because they continue to draw power even when they’re turned off or are in stand-by mode.
How much energy do they waste? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, America’s idle gadgets waste several billion dollars’ worth of electricity each year, and 10% of your electric bill stems from devices you aren’t even using.
The good news? New devices are more energy efficient. Video game consoles are 50% more efficient than they were a few years ago, and 55-inch TVs now cost just a dollar a month to operate. But what can you do if you have older gadgets in your house you still love?
This may seem obvious, but if you want to save money on your electric bill, unplug devices when they aren’t in use, such as during the night or when you’re not home for an extended period of time.
USE A STANDARD POWER STRIP
Plug your devices into an old-fashioned power strip so you can kill the power to them with the flip of a switch.
USE SMART POWER STRIPS
Plug your energy hogs, such as game consoles, into smart power strips which use timers and sensors to turn devices off completely until their next use. You can find them at your local electronics store. Or, you may be able to get them free or at a discounted rate through your power company as a part of a home energy audit.
MAKE SMART PURCHASES
If you’re buying new devices, look at the EPA’s ENERGY STAR label that shows the most energy efficient models.