Should you unplug your devices when you’re not using them?


Unplugging some appliances could save you money

Did you know that some of your household appliances or devices use electricity even when you are not actively using them? Some devices have a ‘stand-by’ function that even uses power when the device isn’t turned on. A feature that could cost you hundreds of dollars a year!

Stand-by mode

When you have a device plugged into a power socket, the device can be turned on and used. Some appliances are plugged in and use power all the time, like your refrigerator and your microwave (the little light that indicates the time needs electricity too!). And other appliances can go into ‘stand-by mode’. This is the case for devices like a game console or your TV. When your device is in stand-by mode, the device is not turned on but is ‘sleeping’. That way, you can turn it back on really fast, but it also causes your device to still use electricity when you’re not even using it.

Vampire power

When an electric device uses power without you using the device, it is called ‘vampire power’ or ‘phantom power’. That sounds very exciting but it can quite literally ‘suck’. Because vampire power costs you a lot of money. According to Origin, stand-by power can cost you over a hundred dollars a year. In research executed by the NRDC, it turns out that an amount of $19 billion is wasted in the U.S. alone, just by electrical devices that are in stand-by mode or turned off.


Some devices constantly need power. Like your fridge or freezer. But there are a lot of devices that could be unplugged when you are not using them. Some of them are extra costly when it comes to phantom power. One of the biggest energy-sucking vampires, is your game console. When this device is in stand-by mode, it is still performing certain tasks even though you’re not using it. Another device that sucks money out of your bank account, is the TV. When your TV is on stand-by, it will still use a lot of energy. Even though these are the biggest wastes of energy, a lot of the devices in your house could be using phantom power.

Luckily, some consoles, TV’s and other devices have an ‘energy saving mode’. This means they’ll stop all energy-sucking tasks when you’re not using the device. You can check the manual of your devices to see whether this is an option for you. Another solution would be to unplug all the devices after using them. If this sounds like a hassle, you can also plug your devices into a power strip with a power switch. That way, all you have to do is turn the power switch off after using your appliances.

And with the money you’ll save, putting in the effort to keep those vampires from sucking energy will be worth it!

Also read: 8 Simple Ways You Can Save Energy And Power

Source: OVO Energy, Libelle, How Stuff Works, Origin Energy, NRDC | Image: Unsplash, Kelly Sikkema