Electricity Gas

Those Plugged-In Gadgets Are Draining Energy

Posted On: October 8, 2019

We’ve all been there: dropped jaw with the sudden dread of discovering an energy bill that’s higher than you anticipated. You may have cried out, “Why? Why is my energy bill so high?”

Rest easy. We know who the culprit is – the drain is coming from inside the house. 

You may not realize this, but devices that are left plugged in still use energy even if you aren’t actively using them. These Energy Vampires may not drain much in the moment, but all that excess energy can add up quickly over time.

You might have a few of these common offenders in rooms inside your home right now: 
• Living Room: DVR, TV, game consoles, DVD/Blu-Ray player, stereo
• Office: Notebook computer, cable modem, desktop computer, printer, scanner, speakers
• Kitchen: Microwave, coffee maker
• Around the Home: Alarm clocks, air conditioners, cellphone chargers, treadmill, garage door openers, tool chargers, battery chargers

Just by shutting off energy to your coffee maker, you could save about a dollar a year for each device. You could stockpile those savings by shutting off several others on those lists. Unplugging your DVR whenever it’s not in use could put in $36.80 in savings back in your pocket for the year.

Not a big enough deal? An entire entertainment system can reach $130 annually. That’s a pretty penny that looks better in your pocket or spent on something fun.

Diligence is all you need to earn back your money from phantom drain. You can start today by equipping your home with these tips and monitoring tools:

• Batch all your gadgets onto power strips and shut things down when you don't need them.
• Only buy Energy Star electronics and appliances, which use up to 50 percent less energy than typical models.
• Unplug charged electronic devices.
• Enable the ‘power-save’ or ‘sleep’ mode on your computer to avoid using more energy with a screensaver.
• if you're a resident of the Lone Star State, stay informed with Weekly Energy Report that’s sent right to your inbox and Smart Meter Texas.