A large number of electrical products draw power (phantom load) as long as they are plugged in. They have to be unplugged in order to draw no power — or plugged into a “smart strip” type powerstrip (like these smartstrips at Choose Renewables) that turns itself off when it senses the product is not in use .
Wondering about how much energy your various appliances and electronics use when on, off, or on standby? Here’s a useful website from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. You may be surprised. Here are two tables:
- This chart showsminimum, average, and maximum standby power use of residential appliances
- This table shows the data that chart is based on (I’m cringing at the number for the microwave!)