A variety of home appliances have a voracious appetite for sucking energy out of electrical outlets and money out of your wallet, even when they are turned off. These appliances and devices still use energy while powered down and they are potentially all over your home.
While these devices may have sleep or standby modes, they can still continuously use electricity to perform updates, connect to remote servers, and record data.
The connectivity of modern devices is one reason why wasted energy and money from idle gadgets has increased in recent years. The associated energy draw may account for more than 10 percent of home energy use. Home electronics like televisions, cable boxes, modems, video game consoles, and even DVD players are typically the largest energy vampires.
Other common vampires include any device that’s programmable or has a remote control, light, or clock.
The following are some simple ways to help reduce energy waste when it comes to appliances in and around the home.
• Use Energy Star certified appliances. Energy Star appliances are more efficient than their counterparts. While you may pay more up-front, the savings in energy costs over the life of the product often makes up the difference.
• Plug into power strips. It’s unrealistic to unplug each device after use. Power strips are easily accessible and can shut off power to a variety of devices at the same time.
• Unplug when charged. When devices like cell phones and tablets are charged, unplug the chargers.
• Let the Computer Sleep. Adjust your computer setting to go to sleep after 30 minutes or less. Disable screensavers and set the monitor to turn off after 10-15 minutes.
• Utilize PG&E’s Home Energy Checkup. This online tool allows you to share basic data then provides customized energy savings recommendations tailed to your specific household.