Reduce Your Electricity Costs in 5 Seconds

Power Strip

Flickr by Tom Raftery

Did you know that 5% to 10% of your residential electricity costs come from appliances that are left plugged in all day? Some appliances – especially those without a hard “off” switch, like your microwave, TV, and modem, consume between 7 and 14 watts of energy , even when they’re not in use.  Although unplugging your appliances is a key way to save on your energy bill, it’s hard to remember to unplug them every day.

As a solution, try using a power strip for your appliances so that they don’t waste energy while you’re not using them. Or if hitting a switch isn’t your thing, try the new smart strip, which reduces your power usage by shutting down power to products that aren’t turned on, or are in standby mode.  What a great idea to reduce your energy usage in the kitchen, and even throughout your home!

6 thoughts on “Reduce Your Electricity Costs in 5 Seconds

  1. smallftprints

    We decided, some time back, to unplug everything in our home except for the refrigerator. For most things we used the strips but in the kitchen we just got in the habit of unplugging counter-top appliances (which we use instead of the oven and often the stove). Our first energy bill, after unplugging, was dramatically lower … like over half. It was amazing! Another thing that really helped was turning off our water heater … we live in an apartment and our water heater doesn’t have any controls that we can get to so we simply turn it off at the circuit box except for about 30 minutes a day … it’s enough hot water for our needs since we basically use cold water and it saves a bundle.

    So glad you linked up at our Meet & Greet … I’ve subscribed to your emails and I’m looking forward to reading more!

  2. Anon

    I really like this site and what it’s aiming for but here I have to complain about some gross inaccuracies. There is simply no way that “your microwave, TV, and modem, consume between 7 and 14 KWh per hour, even when they’re not in use.” To begin, following the link doesn’t give any information on microwaves, but disregarding this, using its numbers for standby power consumption of TVs (10 watts), DVD Players (7 watts), Modems (14 watts), Computers (15 watts), Laptops (2 watts), and Phone Chargers (1 watt), I get a total of 49 watts of consumption for all of these appliances combined. Finding standby information for microwaves is easy enough from government data ( ), so adding in a microwave oven (3 watts) gives a grand total of 52 watts of standby power consumption. For an hour of standby, that’s pretty clearly 52 watt-hours, or rather .052 kilowatt-hours; ie, using the link provided, the power consumption of these devices is not 7 – 14 KWh per hour, but rather .052 KWh per hour. The article is off by a factor of 135-270…two orders of magnitude.

    Beyond this above math, it should be pretty clear to anyone who’s paid an electric bill that these figures are grossly inaccurate. Where I live, I pay 15.3 cents / KWh of electricity I use. If standby power alone for my apartment were 7-14 KWh per hour, I’d be paying (7-14 KWh /hour) * (24 hours / day) * (30 days /month) * ($.153 /KWh) = $771.12 — $1542.24 a month in standby electricity costs. Let me be the first to tell you, if this were true, I’d unplug all of my appliances immediately after use!

    Bravo to this site and its overall message but let’s keep things precise. Further, while this error bugs me, I don’t think I should miss the forest for the trees; unplugging things when they’re not in use still makes a lot of sense on many levels…indeed, even with the more modest correct numbers, unplugging the above appliances saves me a hefty $69.69 a year on my electric bill. Simple things really can add up.

    1. hopeschaitkin

      Hi Anon! You’re totally right! I made a typo, the figure was supposed to be between 7 and 14 WATTS per hour. Thanks for reading in such detail, and for catching this error, as obviously, there’s no way these appliances could consumer that much energy in an hour!

  3. Pingback: Reduce your Electricity Bill with this Simple Gadget | Chicago Gateway Green

Leave a Reply