Deal of the Week: Stop standing by

Chances are, even when you think your appliances are off, they’re not off.

Appliances with “standby” settings – most often those with a little glowing light at all times – are still using power.

Visit this site for more information on standby power and to visit “tours” of standby electricity use in typical homes around the world. http://standby.lbl.gov/faq.html

For instance, an average television on standby (a setting that is required to let you turn the TV on with a remote control) uses 5 watts of power just to sit there. A microwave might use 3; a charger, 1.

On the laboratory site mentioned above, an average U.S. and French home each used about 70 watts per day of standby power. That’s not so much — like leaving a couple of lower-watt incandescent bulbs running all day, or about 5 CFLs — but if every home leaks that much power, it really adds up.

We’re tackling this little by little at our house, by:

  • Having the computer shut down automatically after it’s out of use.
  • Unplugging the copy machine in my home office.
  • Putting the TV and DVD player on a power strip, which is switched off when not in use.
  • Unplugging all chargers when not in use.

Eventually, I’d like to have everything on a power strip. I think my “turn off” campaign is having an impact on our electric bill, but time will tell.

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