When you leave the house in the morning, you probably make sure the lights are off and the faucet isn't not running. You don't want to waste energy, right? Unfortunately, many of your home electronics are using energy all day, every day, even when you're not using them, just by being plugged in.
A new study
from the University of Wisconsin reports that on average, Americans have 30 or more devices in their homes, which account for 15 to 30 percent of a household's total electricity use. And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while products are actually turned off. The small amount of energy used in standby or sleep mode is known as "phantom load." If it has a clock or a blinking light, it's on. And that small amount of energy adds up--it could be costing you the equivalent of a month's electricity bill every year.
Fortunately, there's a quick fix: Pull the plugs! Too inconvenient? Invest in some power strips; it's easier than groping behind the couch for the cord, and you can turn off a number of devices at the same time.
The cable box and flat-screen TV are the worst offenders, followed closely by the desktop computer. But you might be surprised by how many devices, gadgets, and appliances in your home are plugged in, using energy, and sitting idle. The University of Wisconsin study cited examples of people who'd literally forgotten about devices in their homes that were plugged in and never used. Take a search-and-unplug phantom load tour of your home--you might be surprised by the amount of energy and money you can save!Energy tip powered by Fresh Energy!