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Pull the Plug and Reduce Energy Consumption

The average household in the United States has a large selection of electronic gadgets, devices, and appliances on the premises and the majority of these are normally left plugged into a wall socket most of the time. This is usually the case even when the device in question is only used infrequently.

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What many people don’t appreciate is that even when they are not switched on, many items that remain plugged into a wall socket are still consuming a significant amount of electricity and are therefore costing their owner money.

Implement Simple Energy Efficiency Measures

The average US household spends in excess of $2,000 each year just for electricity, and one easy way to help keep this number as low as possible is to implement simple energy efficiency measures in the home. By some estimates devices and appliances that are left plugged in all day and night even when they are turned off account for between five and ten percent of the household’s electricity consumption, and significantly impact the amount of money spent – and wasted – on utility bills.

Unplug Household Devices and Appliances

It is true that some domestic appliances that are left plugged in consume only a tiny amount of electricity, but others – like televisions and computers – use a significant amount of power, even when they are turned “off”, and left on standby. The cost-conscious, ‘green’ householder should spend some time going around their home and identifying those appliances and devices that really do not need to be plugged in when they are not being used, and unplug them.

The household devices and appliances that you should be prioritizing in your drive to reduce energy consumption at home by unplugging items when they are not in use include the following:

  • Lamps
  • Toasters
  • iPods and similar gadgets that take power from a plug-in transforme
  • Cordless extension phones in spare rooms that not regularly used
  • Coffee machines
  • Modems
  • TVs
  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • VCRs and DVD players

Of course you don’t need to go overboard when unplugging, and things like alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and home security systems will obviously need to remain plugged in all the time. The key here is to make an effort to identify those items that are not needed, and keep them unplugged until it is time to use them.

Exercise Common Sense

As with anything else it is important to exercise common sense and good judgment as some devices do not take kindly to being constantly unplugged and then plugged in later. The cable box is a case in point; once this has been plugged in again after being unplugged it will take a few minutes to program itself, especially if it doesn’t automatically reboot and has to be manually configured. However, while on a day-to-day basis this is probably not a good candidate for the plug-unplug strategy, it can be unplugged before you go off on vacation, or if there is a box attached to a television that is only used rarely.

Invest in a Power Strip

To save time, appliances and devices that are going to be unplugged regularly and which are all located nearby each other can be attached to a power strip so they can all be unplugged and plugged back in with the single flip of a switch.


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