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Help Make 25 Large Power Plants Obsolete

By Ecology Action
February 9, 2017

It’s simple! Just shut off the devices in your home that use “standby power.”


Standby or “parasitic” power is the energy wasted by devices that keep drawing electricity when you’re not using them. A 2015 study by the US National Resource Defense Council found that standby power accounts for “23 percent of power consumed in the average American household.” That’s an average of $165 per household per year, or over $20 billion nationally! If we could cut that amount in half it’s estimated we’d save as much power as a medium sized country or the entire output of 25 large power plants.

Unlike some problems, this is one you can immediately fix. And you’ve got some options.

Option 1:

The basic answer is to unplug every electrical appliance you’re not using. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind some inconvenience then with some regular unplugging and replugging, you’re done. Good for you.

Option 2:

If you’re like most of us, the idea of crawling under desks and couches every day doesn’t appeal. Well-placed power strips are the next level of escalation – all you need to do is switch off the strip and everything plugged into it is off. Easy.

Option 3:

For even more convenience there are power strips with remote controls (save the bending) or with timers (schedule regular shut downs) and others with sensors that detect when the room is unoccupied and shut down. Of course, the more you spend on complex devices the less you save and the more you risk sending stuff to the landfill, so choose carefully.

However you do it, shutting off those unused devices is an immediate way to reduce our impact on the planet and save a little money while you’re at it.

1 comment

  1. Kirsten Liske says:

    I think there are also plug strips for your tech+associated items where the plug bar knows when you shut down your main device (computer/TV) and then powers down the rest as well. Anyone got a lead on that?

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