The Cost Of Leaving Things Plugged In?

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Keeping our electric bill down is continually a challenge. We have had over 30 days over 100 this year. I keep a folder to store any tips I find in magazines. While cleaning the folder out last week, I came across a great article I would like to share about high tech's hidden cost. This is average annual energy cost for each item.


  • (TV smaller than 40 inches) Plasma TV, $48.25
  • TV accessories, Digital video recorder/TIVO $39.71
  • Digital cable, $26.15. Computers, Desktop, $27.90
  • Computer accessories, CRT computer monitor, $8.97
  • Modem, $5.47

These are just a select few of the items listed and the amount it costs to keep them plugged into your home outlet for a year. They noted electronic devices account for 10 to 15 percent of all electricity used in American homes. You can lower your energy consumption by plugging most of your electronics into a power strip and turning off when they're not in use. I found this article very helpful. I now turn my computer off when it is not in use. I also do not keep my cell phone charger plugged into the bathroom outlet when not charging my cell phone. I unplug my TV when we are not watching it. All of my appliances which do not have a clock, I unplug when not in use. All the little things can add up to wasted energy and higher utility bills.


Source: This article I clipped was in Real Simple Magazine the April 2008 issue.

By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

This works with a lot of things.

BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH TIVO OR DVR'S, don't do, or you'll be mighty upset when you miss your newest episode of Shear Genius, Big Brother or gasp, the morning news!

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

Also unplug your toaster and stuff too. If you have the money try buying those energy saving bulbs. They are a bit more but you can save money on your light bill.


I just wish they made them in yellow (bug lights) cause I have 3 in my house.

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September 3, 20080 found this helpful

Didn't realize we were burning electricity when these items are not in use. Thanks for the tips.

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September 8, 20080 found this helpful

I have replaced about 90% of my homes light bulbs with the more energy efficient ones.I could not believe the difference in my energy usage on my bill.It really makes a big difference.The new energy efficient bulbs are even brighter than the old ones,go figure.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I put everything on Switched Power strips. when I am not using it I turn it off. Its called Vampire Gazdgets all those little wal warts consume just a wee bit of power even when they are not doing anything. combined it can add up.


Also CFL is a MUST DO. they are NOT expensive any longer. I only buy GE and Sylvania since they are two brands that stand behind there 5 year claim with a 5 year warranty :-) Sam;s club has an 8 pack of CFL's for $6.63

NOT bad. Personally I am already CFL both at home and at work.

At home I am going even further. I am about 50% LED now. all the bathrooms are LED. My bedroom and my sisters and brothers bedroom are LED.

I am working on the rest of the rooms. My big bathroom is light bright as DAY (almost blinding some say but I like it bright) total power consumption? 18watts 12 bulbs 1.5 watts each.

I got this 6 bulb vanity fixtures at or something like that for $8 a pop free shipping (over $30) the bulbs I got at sams club $15 for a 3 pack. They consumer ZERO electricity as far as I am concerned. Seeing a how bathrooms are lit MAYBE 2 hours per day more likel it average to 1 hours per day over the whole year but lets use 2 hours. $1.78 a year in electricity.


My dads bathroom 5 bulbs 7.5 watts 75 cents a year. Theoretically at this usage level the bulbs should outlive the building. :-) and us :-)

Each of these bulbs put out around the equivalent of 35-40 watts of light as if from an incandescent bulb but only consume 1.5 watts of electricity. I love them and its a nice warm pure white light not that stinking blue light.

LED's are the future STAY away from the PAR spot light style LED bulbs I have never had one last they just use too much power and burn themselves up. (LED's do not like heat)

Within a year I should have my house 100% led and then all the lights running all at once should consume less than 200 watts of power TOTAL with every single bulb on. :-) thats gonna be fun. at that power level it suddenly becomes affordable to consume ZERO power for lights by moving to a small solar battery array (just for lights)


I Love LED;s :-)

for now go with CFL they are VERY cheap and save there cost in e savings very quickly. in a business environment a CFL pays for itself in less than 20 days of usage at 18 hours a day. at work we may 16.2 cent a KW so our math factor is .000162 (watts used times hours times days times that factor is how much it will cost us a month)

so we replaced a 75 watt bulb with a 13watt CFL. 18 hours a day usage for our business.

75watt $6.51 a month in electricity
13watt $1.14 a month in electricity
Savings in power $4.37 Cost of Bulb 89 cents.

pays for itself in less than 1 week JUST in electricity savings. we are so far getting LONGER than a year out of them (which is over there rated life span) Even if the bulb ONLY lasted 1 year they save us over $51 a year in electricity savings EACH.

At home it takes a little longer. average 4 hours a day equals $1.46 a month for the 75 watt and 26 cetns a month so the difference is $1.20 so in 3 weeks the bulb PAYS for itself in Electricity savings. Not freaking bad ehh? at $4 a pop it would take almost 4 months to break even but you can get good CFL's so cheap now its silly not to switch.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

Duh forgot to compare the LED bulbs :-) In the bathroom we replaced 8 123 watt CFL's 8*13watts is 104 watts or $12.29 in E per year. Previously we had 8 60watt bulbs in there or $56.76 per year in E (again 2 hours a day)

The led bulbs consume 18 watts (and I have it BRIGHTER than the CFL made it) so $2.12 per year. Saving over Incans is just shy of $55

Cost to install the LED bulbs? 12 bulbs $15 per 3 pack 4 packs that's $60 in bulbs. so they pay for themselves in just over a year and the will last DECADES easily. If they die before I die they were just incorrectly built :-) and that's in a bathroom at 2 hours a day usage! even faster in normal 4 hours day average rooms and even faster in say kitchens etc..

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September 29, 20090 found this helpful


How much would you say you've saved in electric since unplugging?


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