Here's a fact people don't think about too often: even if your laptop's AC adapter isn't plugged in to your laptop, as long as it's hooked up to a power outlet it will soak up electricity. Sure, it may not take a lot of electricity since it's technically not powering anything for the moment. But think about that small amount your laptop adapter is absorbing, and consider that it's doing that nonstop while it's plugged in... you've basically got a power-leech right around the corner.
Now think about how many adapters, chargers, and appliances you leave in all the time just out of convenience. Scary thought, isn't it? If your electricity bill has been high recently, you might want to consider ways to take that cost down a notch or two. And just maybe, you've stumbled upon a few quick tips on how to do just that.
Computers: Whether it be a desktop or laptop, even in standby-mode these machines are still consuming power. Especially if you've got that brick of an AC adapter for your laptop. Be sure to actually remove the power cord from the outlet in order to stop wasting energy.
DVD Players/VCR's: Ever wonder how that DVD Player of yours always displays the correct time, even though it's not on? You essentially leave it plugged in just to have another clock. If you're not the kind to watch old movies spontaneously, perhaps it's time to ditch this extra clock.
Stereos/Radios/iPods: Just like above with the DVD Players and VCR's, these musical devices are doing the same thing while not on: consuming power just so that you can be ready to listen to music in a heartbeat. Especially with those iPods! Don't leave them plugged in even though they're full on battery: you're not only wasting electricity, but also wasting away its battery.
Modems: If you work the typical 8-to-5 job, chances are that your house is empty during the day. So what good is leaving your modem on if no one's around to use it? Unless you like leaving it on without a password for WiFi-thieves out there, there's not really a good reason for it to stay on for those 8 hours of worktime.
Now, I know this sounds like a major pain. Who wants to spend the first 5 minutes of coming home by plugging everything back in? Another tip would be to buy a power strip - rather than unplugging everything, just connect it all to a power strip and shut that on/off when you need to.
Certain appliances, like a cable box or washing machine, might take a few minutes to "reboot" itself; obviously, these ones might be a bit more hassle than they're worth to shut off, but that's up to the user.
There's plenty of other electronic devices and appliances around the house (toasters, coffee machines, lamps, etc) that could go with a bit of down-time, but to me, these seem like the major ones. So try cutting back, and watch your electricity bill do the same!
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