Even when they’re turned off, digital clocks, battery chargers and remote-control sensors pull energy. This standby power accounts for about 7 percent of your home’s total energy consumption—20 percent or higher in some homes.
Most Americans own 20 gadgets with standby features that do everything from monitor refrigerator temperatures to charge cell phones. Monitoring devices need to stay on, but your TV and computer have no reason to be on constant standby.
You can stop feeding those empty channels. Here’s how:
1. Buy Energy Star computers, appliances and power adaptors, which can consume half the electricity of standard models.
2. Fully shut down your printer and computer when not in use. (“Sleep” uses standby energy.) Plug them into an easy-to-reach power strip so you only have to do it once.
3. Reduce. How many phones and remote controls do you need?
4. Unplug stuff you don’t use.
5. Unplug the charger. Remove battery-powered rechargeable devices from their docks when fully charged.