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Standby Power Consumption – Tips to Reduce Yours

Did you know that if your TV, computer and other appliances are plugged in, they are quietly draining electricity all day, every day, even when they are turned off? This phenomenon is known as standby power, or the electric power consumed by products when they are switched off or in a standby mode. We may not notice it, but standby power is a big issue. It accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy use, costing the average U.S. household $100 or more per year.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your standby power loads and save money, and we’re here to provide you with three easy tips that you can take action on right now:

Tips to Reduce Your Standby Power Loads

Use a power strip to help you manage your standby power consumptionUse a Power Strip with Switches. Use a power strip with on/off switches to plug in your appliances. For example, you may have a power strip in your living room, where your TV, DVD player, game system and sound system are all plugged in. You might have another power strip in your office where your computer, printer, paper shredder, lamp and phone charger are plugged in. If you plug all of your products into a power strip and flip off the power strip when these items are not in use, they are truly off.

Unplug Your Products. Another sure way to reduce your standby power load is to just unplug your products. There are some products you may want to keep plugged in, such as the digital alarm clock in your bedroom or the refrigerator. You might find it to be quite a pain to have to reset the alarm clock or have to buy new groceries every day! But there are many appliances you may not need to have plugged in, such as the microwave or toaster oven.

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Consider using ENERGY STAR® products. Many ENERGY STAR products are energy efficient and have lower standby power than comparable non-ENERGY STAR products. The Standby Power Data Center, a website from DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), helps federal agencies and the general public to identify low standby power products. For more information on lower standby power products, check out FEMP’s website.

So, there you go — three simple ways to reduce or eliminate your standby power, and save some money too!

For more tips on energy savings, visit our section on Myrtle Beach Energy Savings. We’ve posted other “energy efficient” tips.  Find them here.

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