Unplug electronics when they're not in use

Why? Many electronic devices continue to draw power even when they are turned off. By unplugging devices and chargers when they are not in use, you can avoid paying for this extra energy.
Helpful terms: The energy some electronics draw while they are off is called a "phantom load." Products that waste electricity this way are often called "vampire devices."

Which of my electronics are likely to be vampire devices?
  • Televisions
  • Digital video recorders (DVRs)
  • Computers
  • Entertainment systems
  • Video game systems
  • Printers and scanners
  • DVD players
  • Coffee-makers
  • Microwaves
  • Cell phone and battery chargers
  • Any device with a remote control or LED indicator light

For extra convenience: A power strip in an easy-to-reach location will enable you to cut off and restore power more easily. You can also purchase a power strip with a remote control, or a "smart strip" that will automatically shut off power when a central device is idle—like the computer in your home office or the TV in your entertainment system.

Good to know: Many vampire devices have rectangular adapter boxes on their plugs. Plug adapters stay warm to the touch even when the connected device is off—a sign that it is a continuous energy user.

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