How to Reduce Your Energy Costs By Unplugging All Your Appliances

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs By Unplugging All Your Appliances

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs By Unplugging All Your Appliances


Reducing your energy costs can seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. One of the simplest ways to lower your electricity bill is to unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Unplugging appliances can reduce your energy costs by 8-10% per year, saving you a significant amount of money. In this guide, I’ll explain why unplugging appliances saves energy, which appliances you should focus on unplugging, tips for remembering to unplug consistently, and additional ways to reduce your energy costs. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to painlessly reduce your electricity bill by unplugging appliances.

Why Unplugging Appliances Saves Electricity

Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when plugged in, even when switched off. This is known as phantom load or standby power. Some of the biggest energy vampires are chargers, game consoles, televisions, microwaves, and computers. Although the power drawn individually is small, it adds up over time, typically 10% or more of your home’s energy use. Simply unplugging these appliances when not in use can have a noticeable impact on your electricity bill over weeks and months.

Unplugging stops the phantom load, eliminating that sneaky extra power draw. It ensures an appliance is drawing zero power when not in use, which can save you $100 or more per year, depending on your home and habits. Unpluggingcompletely eliminates standby power, providing more savings than using a power strip alone. So if you want to easily reduce your energy costs, unplugging appliances is an effective first step.

Which Appliances to Unplug

Focus first on electronics and appliances that draw a large phantom load, are used intermittently, or have a standby mode. Some top energy vampires to unplug include:

  • Chargers – Unplug phone, tablet, and laptop chargers when not actively charging.

  • Game consoles – Xbox, Playstation, Wii, etc. These draw 10-20+ watts when idle.

  • TVs and surround sound systems – Unplug TVs when not in use, including cable/satellite boxes.

  • Microwaves – Use a timer or unplug when not cooking.

  • Computers – Hibernating computers still use 15+ watts.

  • Coffee makers – Many draw power even when turned off.

  • ** printers** – Laser printers can use 15 watts while idle.

Also consider seasonal appliances like humidifiers or space heaters. The more you unplug, the more energy you’ll save, so tackle your biggest and most frequently used offenders first.

Tips for Remembering to Unplug

Unplugging appliances takes some discipline. Here are tips for making it a habit:

  • Unplug before bed – Develop a routine of unplugging devices before going to sleep.

  • Use power strips – Plug electronics into one power strip to easily cut power to multiple items.

  • Unplug immediately after use – For appliances like microwaves, unplug right after you finish cooking.

  • Post visual reminders – Put sticky notes on your devices to remind yourself.

  • Check for standby lights – Scan rooms for standby lights indicating phantom load.

  • Unplug before long trips – Unplug items like TVs and computers when away for multiple days.

With regular reminders and making unplugging part of your daily routine, the habit will stick. You’ll continue saving money without even thinking about it.

Additional Ways to Reduce Energy Costs

Unplugging appliances provides simple, effortless savings. But you can take additional steps to reduce your energy costs further:

  • Use LED light bulbs – LEDs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer.

  • Lower your thermostat – Cut heating costs by lowering your thermostat 7-10° F when away.

  • Seal air leaks – Seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and pipes to prevent drafts.

  • Insulate your home – Properly insulating your attic and walls saves energy.

  • Upgrade old appliances – Replace outdated, inefficient models with ENERGY STAR® certified appliances.

  • Use cold water for laundry – Washing clothes in cold water saves electricity otherwise used for heating.

  • Change HVAC filters – Dirty filters make your HVAC system work harder and use more power.

Every bit of savings adds up. Use a combination of unplugging appliances, equipment upgrades, and conservation habits to maximize your energy and cost savings.


Unplugging unused appliances is one of the easiest, most effective ways to start reducing your electricity costs. Focus on electronics, chargers, game consoles, and seasonal appliances first to net the biggest savings. Develop habits like unplugging before bed to save without hassle. Lastly, pair unplugging with additional conservation measures for maximum benefit. Use this guide to start painlessly lowering your energy bills today.