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

Unplugging appliances when not in use can significantly reduce your energy bills. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to lower energy costs through strategic unplugging.

Why Unplugging Saves Energy

Many appliances continue to draw power even when switched off or in standby mode. This is known as phantom load or vampire power.

Some key points on phantom load:

  • TVs, game consoles, chargers etc draw power when plugged in. This constant trickle can add up over time.

  • Appliances in standby mode use 5-10% of their regular operating power.

  • The average home has 40 devices constantly plugged in, accounting for 10% of electricity costs.

Unplugging eliminates phantom load completely, saving electricity and money. It’s one of the quickest and simplest ways to reduce energy bills.

Which Appliances to Unplug

Focus your unplugging efforts on devices that aren’t in constant active use. Good candidates include:

  • Entertainment devices – Unplug your TV, set-top box, game console etc when not in use.

  • Kitchen appliances – Unplug the toaster, coffee maker and other counter top appliances when not in use.

  • Chargers – Unplug chargers for laptops, phones and other devices when not actively charging.

  • Personal care appliances – Hair dryers, curling irons, electric razors etc should be unplugged after each use.

  • Seasonal appliances – Unplug window AC units and dehumidifiers in winter and plug them back in during summer.

Tips for Effective Unplugging

Follow these tips to make unplugging appliances a seamless habit:

  • Use power strips – Plug appliances into power strips/surge protectors. Switch off the power strips when not in use.

  • Unplug before extended periods of disuse – Unplug devices like vacuums, fans, humidifiers etc when not using them for extended periods.

  • Establish a routine – Develop a daily or weekly routine for unplugging unused devices. Coordinate with your schedule.

  • Label plug points – Use labels to identify which device is connected to which socket. This makes unplugging quicker.

  • Consider smart power strips – These automatically cut off standby power when devices go into sleep mode.

How Much Can You Save?

The savings from unplugging depend on your usage patterns and electricity rates. However, estimates indicate:

  • Unplugging 10 unused devices can save around $100 per year.

  • Cutting standby power by 75% can save $60 to $150 annually.

  • For households with high phantom load, savings can exceed $300 per year.

In summary, being diligent about unplugging appliances when not in use provides an easy and effective way to realize significant savings on electricity bills.