Did you know that the average American family has approximately 40 different appliances that are left plugged in when they’re not in use? That number may seem high, but if you break it down room by room, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, toaster, coffee maker in the kitchen. You have a TV, cable or satellite box, Blu-ray player, gaming consoles and lamps. Not to mention any laptops, docking stations, or any other mobile device chargers that you have. The number adds up quickly.
For many years, setting the temperature a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter and turning off a light when you left the room were enough to keep electricity bills down. But an aspect many forget is that when a device is powered off, it’s still consuming a small amount of electricity.
Individually, these devices use less than 1 watt of electricity when they’re in standby mode. If your home has 40 idle, plugged in devices, it’s easy to see how that could impact your electricity bill. The Department of Energy estimates that those electronics take up 5% - 10% of your electricity. Multiplied over the entire country, these idle gadgets take up 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. In simple terms, that’s enough power for 8.7 million homes. All of those devices cost us around $11 billion per year. That’s a lot of wasted power!
The list below names the largest culprits of costing you money when left plugged in:
- Computers: The EPA estimates that laptops and desktops account for 2%-3% of overall household energy in the United States. Sleep mode is a good alternative, but unplugging will still be the best option.
- Cable Boxes: While one of the most inconvenient to unplug, it remains one of the largest offenders. It’s not practical to plug and unplug your cable box, especially if it’s a DVR and you have to worry about missing a show. Instead, if you have multiple TV’s, you can ask for a multi-room box. One of these boxes allows you to get rid of all of the other boxes in your home.
- Televisions: Even if it’s Energy Star rated it’s safe to say the bigger the TV, the more electricity it uses.
- Game consoles: Of everything else listed, game consoles are what most often are kept plugged in 24/7. Just in the past few years, the power usage by consoles has increased by 50%. It’s also estimated that they account for 1% of total household energy use.
Other things to consider unplugging:
- Coffee makers
- Device chargers (Phone, iPod, Kindle, etc)
- Electric toothbrush chargers
There are a lot of great ways to save money by making your home more energy efficient! Give us a call today to set up a Green Screen with one of our Energy Advisors. Click below to learn more.