Do you unplug your small appliances?

Jasdip

I don't like things plugged in with lights, clocks etc, the old phantom energy usage. Basic coffee makers are a thing of the past they all have clocks. I unplug it when it's done brewing, I don't like having the time lit.

I turn off the power bar on my tv as I don't need the ready light to be on day in day out when I'm not watching it.

My mom always unplugged the toaster.

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lily316

Nope.

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chisue

I've found that more common where electric power is more expensive, like in Hawaii.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Me neither :-) The savings just does not justify the inconvenience. And if I unplug the TV, the reboot/reconnect required by the cable provider takes up far too much time.

Maybe if one had scads of small appliances it would make sense but with only a toaster, microwave and TV, nah!! My computer is a laptop so mostly wireless anyway.

All other small appliances are stored in my pantry and only get plugged in when in use.

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bbstx

Interesting topic since I was just thinking about this last night. My mother unplugged all small appliances. She also kept the electronic picture frame we gave her unplugged and turned off the computer unless she was sitting in front of it. She was afraid something would randomly turn on and burn the house down. Being a snarky kid, I asked her why she didn’t unplug the lamps and TV, too. It wasn’t a well-received comment and rightly so.


Last night as I walked through the kitchen on my way to bed, I noticed that the coffee maker was plugged in; the toaster oven was plugged in; but the KA mixer was not plugged in. In a cabinet, the microwave and the toaster stay plugged in.

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morz8

No, I'm not an unplugger. The only things out in my kitchen are the coffee maker, toaster, and a food processor which is sometimes uplugged but its an outlet I'll use for either hand mixer or stand mixer (hand mixer lives in a drawer and the stand mixer on a rolling cart that comes in and out of the kitchen). If the food processor is unplugged its because I've used the outlet without plugging it back in.

I have a little Dyson space heater near my desk. It operates by remote and I like this room warmer than DH does. If we've been out of town overnight, I'll find the remote not working. He's unplugged the heater. I don't know why.

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hallngarden

All put away each day. We are definitely unplugged. Always left coffee maker plugged in until one of us must have programmed by mistake and it made during the night (I plead old age) I have one addiction in my life and that is two cups of coffee to get me started in the mornings.

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nicole___

We have whole house surge protection, on the electric panels. Before that......we did. Electricity is pretty cheap here. It's also clean. Our power plant exhausts steam.

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lindaohnowga

I don't unplug either.

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Fun2BHere

The only kitchen small appliance we keep plugged in is the toaster oven and I always unplug it when we travel. I guess I have some dim memory that they can short and cause a fire when the power comes back online after an outage. I used to always turn off the water to the washing machine when we travelled, but we have steel hoses now and I live in a temperate climate, so I don't worry about that any longer.

I guess I should have unplugged the television in the guest room back in April.

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Richard (Vero Beach, Florida)

It seems FEMA recommends unplugging small appliances when not in use. As does U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Myself, I only unplug things I rarely use. Hand mixer, blender, juicer, stuff like that. Mostly to put them back in their places, out of my way. If I'm going out of town I'll unplug computers. Otherwise they run twenty four hours per day. The difference in electrical cost between unplugging (or shutting down) and leaving them running doesn't make a life changing difference in my bill. And since the energy I use comes from Nuclear, there's no real difference in air pollution (as far as I know). Although living in Florida, I might think of steam as an air pollutant. :-)

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sal 60 Hanzlik

don't unplug

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Elmer J Fudd

"Our power plant exhausts steam."

Careful, Nicole, you're jumping to a conclusion.

Water vapor is a by-product of combustion. You can prove it to yourself easily - if you have an atmospherically vented, non-high efficiency gas furnace, you'll see "steam" coming out of your rooftop vent on a cool or cold day. That's the water vapor. You'll see the same on the rooftops of other homes or buildings. But there's more coming from your house.

If the power plant functions by combustion, even if natural gas, there's far more there than just steam there too. Even coal fired power plants exhaust what looks like steam. There are many other components, some dangerous to human health, in any combustion exhaust. And also combustion by-products that are damaging to the environment and atmosphere.

Not just steam.

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maifleur03

No. The amount of energy saved is small if you consider the aggravation of plugging back in and resetting them. Perhaps if I was going to be gone months it might make a difference. I have electric company installed surge protector at the meter which was recently replaced. The only time I have had anything damaged that was plugged in it was from a lightening strike to a tree in the next yard. Things like my coffee maker turn off automatically other than the clock part after a certain time. My stove and refrigerator are both electric and moving them to unplug every time I leave home is a big Nope. If I had really old wiring, 1950s and before I would consider it.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

No. Too many things to unplug and I don't want to try to get to all of them


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nicole___

Elmer....Our electric plants coal burning unit is being replaced with solar and wind turbines. We already have acres of solar panels. The coal section is scheduled to close in 2 years. I pay between $60-$90 a month for electricity. It's not cost effective for "me" to put in solar panels...or...to unplug. FYI My house is FULL of these led night lights.



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wildchild2x2

I don't keep most out on the counter unless they are in use. My toaster oven stays plugged in and so does the microwave.

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nickel_kg

I unplug the toaster and the iron whenever they are not in actual use toasting or ironing (I iron our masks, so have ironed more times this year than in the rest of my life put together!). Everything else stays plugged in.

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Kathsgrdn

No I don't, normally, except the Instant Pot and the new bread machine.

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samkarenorkaren

I'm with jasdip. I unplug coffee pot and toaster. And turn off power strip to tv and desk lamps

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Lars

I unplug chargers that have transformers when not in use. I've noticed that they stay hot if I don't, and so they must be using electricity.

The electric bill in Los Angeles is low, but the one in Cathedral City is extremely high during the summer, when it can be 120° outside, and we cool the house to 75-76°. The gas bill is high in the winter when we heat the pool, but of course we do not heat the pool in the summer. So it is one or the other. They overlap in the spring and fall a bit.

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Elmer J Fudd

nicole - my comment was only on one aspect of what you said - what you think is just steam, isn't just steam. Even "clean burning" natural gas as fuel has undesirable things in its exhaust.

Only if your power plant is a nuclear plant, would it be that the steam is only steam.

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Elmer J Fudd

Most - not all - things that plug in don't use electricity when turned off. Things that do - items like TVs with a remote control, the sensor is always energized, waiting for a signal from the remote, but it's not a lot of electricity so consumed. Small items that have a small LED indicator light will draw some fraction of a watt, though these use miniscule amounts that don't amount to much.

LED nightlights won't use as much as 1 Kwh in a month. Price it out with your bill, for some of you, that's less than 10 cents saved if not used at all. A hospital bill from falling in darkness will cost you more.

There are small and relatively inexpensive power monitoring devices that can be purchased. I have one called Kill A Watt. There are others available too. You plug the monitor into the wall socket, and then plug your electrical device into that, to see how much power it uses.

My wife, who was compulsive about unplugging her laptop from the wall when ending use, was unconvinced when I told her that simply unplugging the power cord from PC stopped any power draw. When I plugged it in using the Kill A Watt device and then removed the cord from the PC, she could see it for herself.

Most so-called "phantom draw" isn't worth anyone's concern.

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maifleur03

The questionS that people need to ask themselves. Are you unplugging to save energy even a small amount. Are you unplugging to save money. Are you unplugging because you do not consider it safe to have the stuff plugged in either when you are there or away.

The first question while it would not seem a lot if many people would reduce their usage less would need to be generated. The problem with less needing to be generated reflects on the saving money. A certain amount needs to be generated and used. If it is not used the prices per unit will need to go up to cover expenses etc. If you are doing it for the third reason, outside of tornado or major storm seasons, you should start looking at methods to improve the safety of your wiring even if that means rewiring the whole house. Remember if it is not safe for something to be plugged in when you are away it is unlikely that you will wake up if it fails when you are there and asleep.

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functionthenlook

The only appliance that is on my counter top is the coffee pot. It stays plugged in. Same with the bathroom. Everything is put away. The only thing I shut off at the power strip is the downstairs TV. It is rarely used. I use to shut down my computer downstairs, but it is old and it takes too long to boot up.

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chisue

Our city has offered us the opportunity to sign up for a little savings on our electricity via a 'solar farm'. Can't say I understand all of this, as...who would NOT want to save while also being 'green'? The savings appear to be 'up to 20%' on the 'supply' portion of the bill. (About half of our charges.)

Nasty Commonwealth Edison runs both sides of the operation: Supply and Delivery. They're now paying a BIG fine for bribing the Illinois Utilities Commission over many years. Thank you to our federal district attorney for northern Illinois!

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marylmi

I unplug the coffee maker and also the toaster as it is put in the cupboard. The coffee make I guess for safety. The only time I unplug the TV is during a summer storm. My laptop is used only once in a while and it's always unplugged , mainly because I use the plug for charging other electronics.

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Lars

<LED nightlights won't use as much as 1 Kwh in a month. Price it out with
your bill, for some of you, that's less than 10 cents saved if not used
at all. A hospital bill from falling in darkness will cost you more
.>

This happened to my grandmother after she moved to a different house after my grandfather died. She turned off the night light to save electricity and then broke her hip when she fell at night in the dark. She definitely had a false sense of economy.

She also told me the story of how she found a dime (speaking of 10 cents) on the sidewalk some time in the 1930s and asked my grandfather to pick it up, but he said, "I'm not going to stoop for a dime," and so my grandmother picked it up. She said that one could buy a loaf of bread for a dime during the depression, but since both she and my grandfather both were fully employed during the depression, she really did not need that dime. They also owned an oil well in west Texas, which is where they lived, and my grandfather worked for Lone Star Gas. My grandmother taught English at the local high school, which was conveniently across the street from her house, but set back far enough from the street that it was not a nuisance.

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maifleur03

My electrical utility has also been selling shares of what appears to be electricity from a solar farm to lower your energy costs. However in reading all of the information the solar farm has not been built nor has a site been selected. I had to pass because if the company does not have the money to even start it the farm is in trouble before it is operational because no one can realistically give a figure of how much the electricity from it will cost.

If a company wants to do this they should be floating an IPO to finance it if they do not have the money for it.

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maifleur03

Lars and others while your mother may have fallen then broke her hip the most common way it happens is the hip breaks and the person falls. Too many people blame falls for broken hips when that reasoning is backward although in the end it does not matter since the hip is broken. How it does matter is when the family blames themselves for the fall.

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eld6161

A woman here, I think Joann Fl, did a test to see if it mattered. She found it was a significant savings for her.

Maybe she will see this thread.

Just our toaster is unplugged as we don’t use it often.

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nicole___

Elmer....you are correct. ☺

I'm happy with the way things are. I do not unplug. Lots of lights on at night. ☺

What we did do to make the house more energy efficient tho.... we wrapped the pex piping in foam insulation, for the hydronic radiant floor heat. It's lowered the temperature in the furnace room by 4 degrees...and...it's saving us about $12 a month on the utility bill.

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marilyn_c

I don't have a lot of small appliances. What I do have are put away, except the microwave, and I don't unplug it. For that matter, I never turn off the TV.

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joyfulguy

I've said to folks on different occasions that while we often say that she fell and broke her hip, in many situations we have the actual situation reversed that for many such situations, the boney structure of the hip broke and the fall resulted from that break.

While I think it rather important that we have our bones evaluated as we age, I confess to not having done it.

I think that it is somewhat more often a problem for females.

ole joyful

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maifleur03

While it is more often a problem with women simply because their bones are generally not as large as men's when a man's breaks it can cause more damage so joyful go get the scans. As a man you may have to ask for them but they are important.

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Ont_Gal

Yes Jasdip, I unplug. We're rural, and we pay big time to be rural as well.

We do receive 10% off due to being rural as well, but that generally only covers the HST.

The only thing plugged in regularly are the microwave, hubbys alarm clock and of course the television, which is on a power saving bar.

WE switch the breaker of the hot water off every morning at 7 a.m. and switch it back on after 7 at night, if I have used enough hot water in the daytime to warrant having more.

By doing this little bit extra each day, we save $60.00 per month on power rates alone.

When we moved in here, I called Hydro and asked what the previous tenants bill averaged. $262.00 a month!

Holy, no way would I pay that-EVER....my monthly bill averages $140.00 winter and summer.

Keep in mind, besides usage, there are retirement charges for the company as well as HST, Delivery and another tax....not by any means cheap living. We heat with oil.

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Elmer J Fudd

ont gal, what is your per kwh charge, with all charges included?

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Marilyn_Sue

No, not usually. The only things that are small appliances are the microwave and the big toaster oven and I don't unplug them. Oh and the electric hot pot for water, I leave it plugged in too.

Sue

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Elizabeth

I leave my daily use appliances plugged in. Coffeemaker, coffee grinder, toaster. I never unplug them. It would just be an inconvenience. The other small appliances are in cabinets.

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arcy_gw

No, I don't really have many/any...TV no way that would totally mess up the settings, coffee maker/Kitchen aid/can opener have no clock, alarm clocks--well obviously not, DVD/Blue ray can't reach those plugs they are behind a 500lb credenza.

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bpath

Elmer mentioned Kill-a-Watt. We have one, DH was intent on reducing our electric bill. He checked everything, also was going out look at the meter. In the end, the big draw appliance was, yep, the refrigerator. It was even worse than the freezer, which is a manual-defrost so the motor doesn't run as much as a self-defrost. But, when our household chances and so did our cooking and shopping habits, we unplugged the deep-freeze and immediately noticed a difference in the electric bill.

We do turn off the TV power strip in the living room. I unplug the coffee maker when we finish it in the morning.

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Bluebell66

We unplug all small appliances when not in use. We only use the coffee maker on a daily basis, and it gets unplugged after we are done with it in the morning. We rarely use the toaster so it stays in the cupboard until we need it and it goes back in when we are done. I don’t like leaving anything that heats up plugged in when we aren’t around, so it’s more of a safety thing vs any potential money savings.

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Raye Smith

The months that my HVAC doesn't run, the light bill is very low, no I don't unplug items. All that plugging and unplugging may cause more issues with damaged cords than saving money.

I keep big ticket items such as TVs and computers on surge suppressors.

When I go out of town I do shut of the water to the house, pipes can break any time of year.

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Ont_Gal

Elmer- we have 3 different hourly charges-10.5 cents for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. then 14.5 cents from 11-4 p.m. then 20.5 cents from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Evidently, this is considered "tier" pricing....most of us, particularly us, do anything that requires power on the lower priced hours.....7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

ie: laundry, especially using warm or hot settings on wash, using the dryer, baking, cooking, bathing.

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wednesday morning

If we leave for extended times we will unplug everything possible. Since I have gotten rid of all countertop appliances, there is no issue there. But, when we had a toaster I never left it plugged in. The reason being is that it was sometimes thought to be off when it was actually not.


We do have a space heater that we use in the evening downstairs. I never leave that unattended and always unplug it when not using. One day last winter I went to unplug it and found the plug to be hot! It has not happened since, but has not been plugged in to that same outlet. I don' t know why that happened. I take no chances.

We used to have some stereo equipement in the main room and I used to have to cover up those darned LED lights because they were so bright that they lit up the entire room with an eerie glow. We have none of that anymore, either.

Those little LED lights use so very little electricity that I don't think it is of any significance. I only concern with those that make heat or with the annoying glow that they make.

Don't quote me on this, but I think that one difference is that some have a capacitor in there for instant start, like a microwave or a TV, for instance, as opposed to a floor lamp. Those may suck in more electricity and might make a difference. I don't know if they do, but I do know that you need to be very careful with those capacitors because they hold a charge and give it right back to you.

I hate the glow of those LED lights! There is only one bedside clock in the house and not by my bed.

We do use those little 3 watt nightlights in the bathrooms and in the kitchen.

I never realized how few things we have anymore until I started to think about what is plugged in. I have gotten rid of so many things, and don't miss them one little bit.

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functionthenlook

Raye, you might want to look into a whole house surge protector. We put ours in last year when a surge fried a component in our furnace's mother board. Of course it never fails, in winter.

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Raye Smith

functionthenlook, it's more for the comfort of having them. We rarely have power outages and all the electrical lines here are underground. But I'll check it out, thanks.

As for those glowing appliance lights the only time that's an issue is in hotels. I've gotten very creative in covering them. Next trip I'll just bring a roll of electrical tape. I used to bring a night light on trips but most hotels build them into the bathroom outlets now.

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Raye Smith

functionthenlook - quick question, do you need a protector per each circuit panel or per line drop ?

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functionthenlook

Just one surge protector. It is before the fuse box.

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Rusty

No, I don't unplug regularly used small appliances, with the exception of my air fryer. I use it almost every day, the owners manual says to unplug when you turn it off, so I do. And find it a nuisance. Coffee pot, microwave, can opener all stay plugged in. And the can opener is rarely used, maybe once or twice a month. I would think unplugging, or turning off the power strip to the TV would be extremely frustrating, the settings would all be messed up, and having to wait for them to reset every time? No thanks. And if you're going to be so diligent about unplugging anything not in use, what about your table lamps? Do you also unplug them when they aren't on? Awful things can go wrong with the power cords to them, too. Just saying. . . . .

Rusty

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Raye Smith

functionthenlook - I have multiple circuit breaker boxes that's why I was wondering.

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functionthenlook

Raye, I still call circuit boxes fuse boxes. I only have one circuit box I don't know if you can use one surge protector on the line coming into the house or you have to have one before each circuit box. If you don't lose electricity much since your lines are underground it might not be worth it. I come from the land of telephone poles and wires were trees and limbs like to fall onto the lines.

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bleusblue2

I always unplug the heater -- I have heard that if there is a power outage and then it comes back on there could be a bigger output of energy (do I know what I'm talking about?) that could cause a fire. I've also heard that small appliances taken together -- like the phone charger do use up a lot of energy and it's wrong to waste it. I admit I leave small appliances plugged in.

I didn't know that the fuse box is now a circuit box!!!

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functionthenlook

I never thought of phone chargers. I have them all over plugged in.

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maifleur03

It is always best to unplug any heater that you use. They can be knocked over and land on the controls or as I watched with horror one day the wheel on the bottom broke sending the unit onto the floor. During the winter those space heaters are often the cause of many of the fires in this area be it from overheating, being set too close to something flammable such as curtains or bedding. I switched to one of the enclosed ones but even those can overheat.

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functionthenlook

Bleusblue, I just looked it up. On average across the US 10 phone chargers plugged in 24/7 will run $1.95 a year. For that mine are staying plugged in.

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wednesday morning

If a lamp is not turned on, it is not sucking up electricity. The same with a phone charger, or anything that does not have a capacitor in it. And those little things are not what amps up the electricity bill.

I unplug heat sources just to be very careful. They can sometimes get accidentally left on and unattended or malfunction. I try to maintain a practice on not letting them run without some attention.

Those toaster ovens are the worst. Most of the ones that I have had no light on them to indicate that they were on. And, I have had heaters malfunction.


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Raye Smith

maifleur03 - space heaters have a "tip function" if they are anything but level they automatically turn off. Plus ceramic heaters aren't warm much less hot to the touch. They have come a long way in being much safer. Only place I've run one is in the bathroom while showering so it was supervised. I also have a kill switch on the plug.

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Annegriet

If I am going away for more than just work, I unplug everything. If I am at home, I keep everything plugged in. I'm a little paranoid about Xmas lights/extension cords. I unplug those from the outlet each night before bed or when I leave the house.

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bleusblue2

functionthenlook

Bleusblue, I just looked it up. On average across the US 10 phone chargers plugged in 24/7 will run $1.95 a year. For that mine are staying plugged in.

~~~~

I think the issue isn't the price but the waste of energy -- true or not. My information about chargers using energy came from a good source but it was 10 or more years ago. Maybe it's not longer true.

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chisue

For a while, our electic company sent a notice separate from our statement. It compared our useage with that of our neighbors. We looked like power hogs, but then maybe they don't have underfloor heat in their master bathroom. (WHY didn't I extend the hydro heating to that room?)

Our other 'big draw' is surely our fridge/freezer. Replacing old lightbulbs saves more than I would have thought. The toaster-oven is the only plug-in appliance in my kitchen; never unplug it. M/W is part of the built-in oven/broiler.

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maifleur03

Raye while they have a turn off function they are still hot. Once something is heated it can smolder for a long time without breaking into flame. Besides they do not have to be tipped over to start fires if they are close to a flammable object. Too many times in my old neighborhood houses burned because curtains or bedding caught on fire from space heaters along with lose of life. Never leave one unattended for even a half of an hour when plugged in. With small children or pets that half of an hour should be much less.

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functionthenlook

We look like huge electric hogs compared to our neighbors. Majority of homes here use gas to heat, cook, and for hot water. We have an all electric house so the chart has our electric use way above our neighbors.

bleusblue2 ya sure it probably a waste of energy, but it can't be that much of a waste for it to only equal $1.95 a year. Sure we all like lower electric bills, but I am not crawling behind furniture to unplug phone chargers every time i'm not using them. We don't have tiers in electric rates here, brown outs or black outs from electric usage. Coal that is used to generate the electric is a natural resource here. Along with natural gas and plenty of water.


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bleusblue2

hi function -- I am not suggesting that you unplug chargers. i don't do it myself. But I am certain that the energy wasted by US Canadian population is huge -- and that includes our 1.95 a year items. I visited friends in Melbourne a few years ago and saw how careful they were when making tea -- they don't heat up a kettle to make one cup at a time. A lot of conservation going on.

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Elmer J Fudd

bleusblue, I suspect electricity rates in Australia are higher than what you pay in Canada. That might be why you saw more careful use than you were accustomed to seeing.

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wednesday morning

There are so many ways that we use gross amounts of electricity and many of them are things that we take for granted and hardly even consider not doing.

Why worry about the LED lights on a clothes dryer, for instance, when we don't think twice about running that dryer to dry any number of things that we probably needlessly washed out of the notion that everything needs to be washed and so darned often.

The real waste and abuse with energy comes in ways that require a much more involved question of lifestyle than rather or not to unplug those little lights on the coffee maker.


Safety is another issue aside from that.

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