Things That Use Energy Even When They're Off

Did you know that even when your appliances and electronic devices are turned off, many still continue to suck up energy, which in turn increases your electricity bill? There are many reasons why this happens. If the extension cord plugged into a wall outlet or power source has a transformer box, it will automatically continue to use energy even when it is not technically charging or supplying power to anything on the other side, as per Treehugger. The same goes for any item that is powered off or not currently in use, such as a computer, stereo, or microwave. As long as its power cord is plugged in, it will be drawing energy. The Natural Resources Defense Council revealed that U.S. residents waste around $165 per year due to an inactive electronic device consuming electricity. This, in turn, uses excess energy from power plants and causes the unnecessary release of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — all things that would be best avoided.

The bad news is that most electronic devices consume energy when plugged in but idle or turned off. This also extends to devices that use a wall socket to charge — even when they're fully charged, the power cord continues to draw electricity. The good news is that there are ways to minimize this waste of electricity. Here are the top devices that use energy even when they are turned off and a couple tips for how to prevent this.

Most plugged-in electronic devices use up energy around the clock

So, which electronic devices continue to use energy even when they're off? For starters, any phone charger plugged into the wall but not hooked up to a phone will draw electricity from the socket, according to HomeStars. If your computer or printer are in standby or sleep mode, they will also use energy that will allow them to power back up quickly once you wake them. Microwaves and coffee makers with a built-in clock continue to use electricity to power this function. 

Video game consoles are another energy-wasting device. Even when off, the device may use energy to maintain the game at the moment you paused it. Additionally, the base of a cordless phone is one more thing that will consume energy to perpetuate a Wi-Fi connection even when the phone is not currently charging. Finally, your television is likely wasting precious energy to be ready to power on as soon as it detects a signal from your remote control.

Fortunately, there are ways to conserve energy and ensure it is not being needlessly used when your devices are idle or turned off. The main thing you can do is to unplug your devices when not in use. However, if this is too much trouble, consider using a power strip instead of plugging cords directly into the outlet. Power strips have a button that allows you to turn off the power supplying it without unplugging each individual cord.