Have you heard that some appliances use power when plugged in, even if they’re turned off?
I’ve heard that before, but didn’t really believe it…
Until I read an article where a family reduced their electric bill from $200 to $35 by unplugging their “vampire” appliances.
Hmmm… maybe this deserves a little more thought, and an experiment! I had nothing to lose, only savings to gain!
For one month, we committed ourselves to unplugging as many things as possible when they weren’t in use. Our starting point is the month of April, where our electric bill was $76.75. Since we’ve moved to California, our electric bill has never been higher than $80. With a “low” bill to start with, I didn’t think it would be feasible to save much. Throwing another curve ball is our climate – it’s very, very mild. Most homes don’t have air conditioning and it’s a rare occasion we use the heat during the day. If it weren’t for the kids, there’s a good chance we may not use the heat at all.
With air/heat not really an issue, the appliances became the focus. As I walked through the house, I noticed LOTS of things that were plugged in and not being used. I went through, room by room, and unplugged as many as I could.
- television (we don’t have cable, so I’m not sure why we even kept this plugged in!)
- laptop charger (unless it’s actually charging, this is just silly)
- coffee pot (our coffee brews into a carafe, meaning we don’t have a burner… once it’s brewed, there’s really no need to have it plugged in!)
- lamps (can you believe we had some plugged in, in rooms where they rarely get turned on because we only use the room during the day?)
- toothbrush charging stations
I left the oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer plugged in (although I may start unplugging those last two). There are two lamps in the master bedroom and one in the kid’s room that I also left plugged in. I left our printer plugged in, but made an effort to turn it off when I was done (rather than allowing it to go to standby mode when I was done).
Using the unplugged items wasn’t a big deal either. We just plug in the TV when we want to watch a movie, or plug in the microwave to heat something up. Then unplug when we’re done. Presto magico!
Do you know how much our bill was next month? $56.44! We saved almost $20 (or 26%) by doing practically nothing! Former skeptic turned believer, based on first-hand experience. Why didn’t I believe (and try) sooner?!?!
Run, don’t walk, and turn off your energy-sucking appliances today!This post is shared at Julie Cache, Learning the Frugal Life, Getting Ahead, Life as MOM