Want to save up to $200 a year in a few simple steps?
The government says the average U.S. household spends close to $2,000 on energy costs every year. Up to 10% of that bill is paying for appliances and gadgets that are left plugged in when not in use.
Energy provider First Energy says the average home uses 24 electrical products. The simplest step is to just turn them off when not in use. Use a power strip as central turning off point when you are done using equipment. That way it’s easy to check what’s still plugged in.
Charging the batteries for phones, computers and other devices takes a lot of juice as well. Unplug those chargers when they are not in use.
Set your computer to go into “sleep mode” after a period of inactivity. That way you won’t accidentally walk off and leave it running for hours. A screen saver is not the same as “sleep mode.” If your computer, TV or printer offers power management features, use them. It’s worth the effort. According to the Department of Energy, a cable box with a DVR that’s left on all the time can cost you almost $45 extra a year. Making sure your computer is off or in sleep mode can put $100 back in your pocket.
Video game consoles are another power sucker, so make sure they are turned off when not in use. If might take a little longer to get that game of “Halo” going, but think of all the nice stuff you can buy with a couple of hundred extra dollars in your pocket.