A lot of people think when they turn off an electrical appliance that it doesn’t use any power. Time to think again, most electrical devices in your home still use electricity while turned off! Crazy! Some appliances never actually turn off, they are still consuming power in a standby power mode. Some electrical appliances in your home aren’t in a standby power mode, but still consume power because the way their power supplies are built. This is called many things, vampire energy, phantom energy, electricity leak, or leaking electricity. Continue reading this go green tip to learn how you can save electricity and save money!
What Electrical Appliances Still Use Electricity When Turned Off
Any electrical device that has an external power supply connected to it will still use electricity while powered off. Such as cellphone chargers, computer speakers, any of those electrical devices with a cubed power supply on it. Also any electrical appliances that have a clock, LED, light, or LCD panel on it will also still use electricity while turned off. Such as microwaves, coffee makers, TVs, VCR’s, DVD players, etc. Also any devices that have a standby or sleep power modes will still consume electricity. Most TV’s and set top cable boxes never actually turn off, they just go into a standby mode. Computer monitors and computers are the same. Most computers will still keep power to the motherboard for different functions such as ethernet cards/network cards, modems, USB hubs, etc.
How Much Energy is Consumed by Appliances While Turned Off
The electricity consumed by electrical appliances while they are turned off depends on the electrical appliance. The range of electricity used by these electricity leaking appliances are anywhere from 1 watt to 50 watts of electricity! Now 1 watt doesn’t sound like a lot, which it isn’t, but when you have 20+ electrical appliances in your home using just 1 watt of power, that’s 20 watts being used!
A single cellphone charger will consume 1 watt while plugged into the wall, even without a phone plugged into it! The same cellphone charger will also consume 4.5 watts of electricity with a cellphone plugged into it that is already fully charged! The same cellphone charger will consume 8 watts of power while charging a cellphone.
A stand-alone DVR set top box will consume 48.5 watts of power while turned off. A digital cable DVR set top box will consume 43.5 watts of electricity while turned off, while a digital cable box without DVR will consume 33 watts of electricity. A satellite set top box with or without DVR will consume 33.5 watts of power while turned off.
Almost everyone has a TV in their home, so how much electricity do TVs consume while turned off? Rear projection TV will consume 48.5 watts of electricity while it is turned off! A standard CRT TV will consume 13 watts while turned off.
Most of you will have a mini stereo system, one of those with speakers, CD player, AM/FM radio, etc all built into one unit. They will consume 24.5 watts of power while turned off! I’m sure most of you have one of these in your bedroom, living room, or kids bedroom.
A home theatre audio receiver that most of you will have hooked up to your TV in your living room will consume 19.5 watts of electricity while it is turned off.
So with just the few things I’ve mentioned here, that’s a total of $127.69/year just for electrical devices turned off for 16 hours every day. Most of you probably have more than 1 of each of those items in your home that are turned off, but still plugged in consuming power.
How Much Money Do These Appliances Consume While Turned Off
So now I’m going to calculate an average family of 4, and see how much electricity is leaking in their home, and how much it costs them. Well the parents are leaking 2369.74 kWh a year of electricity, which costs $236.97/year! Each of the children leak around 920.43 kWh of power each year, which costs $92.04 each child! So we have a total of $421.05/year being wasted because of electricity leaking on your electrical devices in your home!
How Can I Save Money by Stopping Electricity Leaking Appliances
There are 3 ways you can save money and save electricity by stopping these electrical appliances from leaking electricity. I will provide all 3 methods of stopping electrical devices from leaking electricity so you can save electricity. Some methods work better than others, but are not as convenient.
The cheapest and most effective is just by unplugging electrical appliances when you are not using them, which can become a major pain.This method works great as there will be no electrical usage at all since the electrical appliance is completely unplugged and can not use any electricity at all. As this method is the cheapest as you don’t have to buy anything new.
The next cheapest and least effective method is buying a standard surge protector and plugging your devices into surge protectors, when not in use, turn off the power switch which will cut off power to all the devices plugged into the power strip. Standard power strips and surge protectors are priced well and will pay for themselves if you turn them off and stop your electrical appliances from using electricity while turned off. The reason this method is not as effective as you would think, is that each surge protector will still consume electricity, so even though all your electrical appliances are not, the surge protector will still consume around 6 watts of electricity. So it is still a great method to use and cheap as well.
The next cheapest method and second most effective is using a smart power strip or smart surge protector. The smart surge protectors will cut off power automatically to only the devices that are turned off, while still powering the devices that are turned on and in use! These smart surge protectors cost about the same or slightly more than regular surge protectors, but use less electricity and you don’t have to turn off the power button when you’re done with your devices, just simply turn that appliance off! The smart surge protectors will still consume electricity when not in use, but not as much as normal surge protectors. The smart surge protectors will consume around 1 watt while in use, and less than 0.25 watts while turned off!