How to Lower Your Energy Bills by Unplugging Appliances When Not in Use

How to Lower Your Energy Bills by Unplugging Appliances When Not in Use

How to Lower Your Energy Bills by Unplugging Appliances When Not in Use


Saving money on your energy bills can seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. One of the simplest ways to reduce your energy usage is by unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not in use. This straightforward tip can lead to significant savings over time, without requiring any drastic lifestyle changes. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive guide on how unplugging appliances can help lower your energy bills.

Which Appliances to Unplug

The first step is identifying which appliances and devices are the biggest energy hogs. Here are some of the most common culprits:


  • New flat-screen TVs can use up to 60 watts when turned off.
  • Unplugging your TV when not in use can save over 50 kWh per year, adding up to $10 in annual savings.

Computers and Monitors

  • Desktop computers and monitors consume 20-60 watts when shut down.
  • Unplugging can save 40-120 kWh per year, equaling $8-24 in savings.

Kitchen Appliances

  • Coffee makers, microwaves, and toaster ovens all use energy even when switched off.
  • Unplugging can save 50-100 kWh per year or about $10-20 annually.

Chargers and Power Strips

  • Chargers for phones, laptops, and other devices draw power when still plugged in.
  • Using power strips makes it easier to cut phantom load.
  • This can save over 100 kWh per year, or $20 annually.

Steps for Unplugging Effectively

To maximize energy and cost savings from unplugging appliances, follow these steps:

1. Identify Major Energy Hogs

  • Take notice of electronics and appliances that are used frequently or left plugged in.
  • Focus on unplugging these devices first for the biggest impact.

2. Unplug Before Bed or When Leaving

  • Make it part of your routine to unplug devices at night or when leaving for work.
  • This covers long periods of inactivity.

3. Use Power Strips

  • Use power strips as central hubs to easily disconnect multiple devices.
  • This avoids the hassle of unplugging everything individually.

4. Unplug Chargers When Not in Use

  • Don’t leave chargers plugged in if they’re not actively charging a device.
  • The small amounts add up over time.

5. Label Plugs and Outlets

  • Label each plug with the device name so you know what to unplug.
  • Label outlets to remember which have devices connected.

Additional Tips for Maximizing Savings

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room and use natural light whenever possible.
  • Enable power-saving settings on computers and monitors.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs.
  • Use advanced power strips to cut phantom load from electronics.
  • Unplug secondary fridges and freezers if they are rarely used.
  • Run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Lower the thermostat a few degrees in winter; raise it in summer.


Unplugging unused appliances and electronics provides an effortless way to shrink your energy bills. To maximize savings, target devices that are used frequently or inefficient, establish an unplugging routine, utilize power strips, and follow additional conservation tips. Over time, these small acts add up to significant savings – over $100 per year in many homes! With minimal effort, unplugging gives you more control over your energy consumption and bills.