The energy used by home electronics left on or in standby mode can add up on your energy bill.

We've all become accustomed to the electronics we use every day. Even though it might not seem like they use a lot of electricity, being a little smarter about the use of electronics in your home can make a difference.


When should you shut off your computer? Here are some guidelines:

  • Turn off the monitor if you aren't going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes.
  • Turn off both your computer and monitor if you're not going to use them for two hours or more.
  • Make sure monitors, printers and other accessories are on a power strip or surge protector so you can turn the power off. Equipment like that can still draw power even when shut off. If you don't use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it's not in use.
  • Screen savers are not energy savers. In fact, modern LCD color monitors don’t need screen savers at all.
  • Using your computer’s sleep mode and power management feature can save up to $30 a year.
  • Turning modern computers on and off doesn’t affect their “useful” life. In fact, the less a computer is on, the longer it can last.

Standby power

Standby power, often called ”energy vampires” are items that continue to use electricity even when turned off or idle – like that phone charger that stays plugged in. The average household spends $100 per year to power devices that in standby mode or off.

Common energy vampires


If you left your cable or satellite box (with DVR capabilities) plugged in and didn't turn it on for a year the cost would be nearly $45.

The average household spends $100 a year to power devices that are in stand-by mode or off.

Plugging items like these into power strips that can be turned off can save more than you think.