If you’ve been rooting around in our Action Guides, you may have seen this suggestion from us before, but it’s one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy use and save money! Although it’s hard to keep track of exactly which appliances are plugged in and all to easy to leave your phone or computer plugged in much after it’s fully charged, these tips can make a real difference in your energy footprint.
Although phantom energy loss only represents about 5% of an individual home’s electricity use, this amounts to nearly 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity being wasted each year in the US alone! While it may take some time to get used to it at first, if you make it a habit to unplug things when they’re not in use, it’ll soon become second nature, and you’ll see the effects on your energy bill.
These “vampire” appliances aren’t only due to keeping phones and computers plugged in after they’re charged either. Have you ever thought about how many different appliances in your home have clocks or standby modes? Both of these mean lost energy. The only way to be sure an appliance isn’t using energy is to unplug it completely; don’t simply turn it off. You can also keep an eye out for models that use less power in standby mode, like those with Energy Star labels. Check out some other appliances here that will help you monitor your energy use and cut power when devices are off.