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Small Electronics: Looks can be deceiving

Small Electronics: “Little” Known Facts

Small electronics, home office, and entertainment equipment can have a big impact on your household, collectively eating up to 20% of your energy use.1 The easiest, most effective way to cut electronics’ energy consumption is to make small changes in how you use them.

A Little Efficiency Goes a Long Way

The easiest way to save energy is to fully turn off or unplug electronics when not using them. This means no stand-by mode - no little red lights left illuminated. The average U.S. household uses about 440 kilowatt hours of energy, or $75 per year  to power unused chargers and electronics in stand-by mode or off-mode, so be careful not to become a part of that statistic!2,3 

While rarely used items such as cell phone chargers can be completely unplugged, it’s not very practical to unplug everything. Therefore, using a surge protector that can be turned off when not in use is a great idea in many cases, as this will eliminate phantom energy while protecting your expensive electronics from power surges at the same time. However, be sure to plug electronics that should be continually left on (like alarm clocks) into separate outlets.

1A. Wilson, J. Thorne & J. Morrill. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #7 Electronics. Snowmass, CO: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 1). 
2A. Wilson, J. Thorne & J. Morrill. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #7 Electronics. Snowmass, CO: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 4). 
3This assumes an electricity rate of $0.17/kWh, Calculated using the average annual U.S. household kWh consumption used for electronics in standby and off-mode, from the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Home Energy Briefs: #7 Electronics.

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.