Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stop Sucking: Save Over $250 a Year by Unplugging Stuff You're Not Using

If it's turned off anyways, why pay for it?
By Brian Merchant
Brooklyn, NY, USA | Apr 09, 2009
You suck. Sorry. But it's true. It's okay, though. I suck too. In fact, we all suck. And no, this is not a passage pulled from a teenager's diary.
We've covered vampire power, or phantom load—the phenomenon where the appliances you keep plugged in quietly drain electricity consistently all day, every day, even when they're off—quite a bit already over here, but I thought it'd be useful to do the previous posts on why we all need to stop the ever-sucking occurrence one better.
How? By telling you exactly how much all your sucking is costing (okay, that's the last time I use 'suck' in a way that most likely only amuses myself, promise).
Thanks to the folks over at Good Magazine, who just so happen to be TreeHugger's Best of Green winner for greenest magazine, I can give you a pretty accurate ballpark for how much all those appliances that spend all day plugged in are costing you every year.
First off, conservative estimates put vampire drain as costing US consumers $3 billion dollars a year—cutting all that out could make for some major stimulus spending money, right?
But let's forget the economy for a second—let's talk about you. Do you have a DVD player? Do you leave it plugged in all the time, even though you're not perpetually watching movies? Thought so. That accounts for almost $9 a year on your electrical bill. Big deal, you say? Well, how about your computer? You leave that plugged in? There's another $34. Xbox, Wii? $25.73 each. Start's to add up, right? Here's the big one: if you have a plasma screen TV, that sucker's costing you $160 a year—in electricity used while the thing is turned off.
When you add it all up—each of the aforementioned items, and, say, a printer, a radio, a laptop, and a microwave, you're looking at some seriously unnecessary spikes in your electric bills. As in, upwards of $270 a year.
So. If I told you that you could save $270 a year by simply unplugging your stuff while you're not using it, or buying some inexpensive smart strips that stop the flow of electricity when a device is turned off off, would you do it?
I would. I'm ready to stop all my sucking. Sorry.