The California Energy Commission (CEC) say that nearly 20 percent of the electricity used up by appliances is actually consumed while they are in a standby mode or when they are charging, but not being used. Experts refer to this as leaking electricity, because these appliances continue to take electricity from outlets even though they are switched off. From available stats it is said that the average American household leaks about 50 watts of electricity which adds-up to more than $5.8 billion of wasted energy and about 87 billion lbs. of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere every year.
Video equipment, such as TVs, DVD players, cable boxes and satellite dishes contribute to the largest amount energy wasted as leaking electricity. This put at about 35 percent. These appliances may seem to be turned off, but they are just in standby mode so that they can respond when use the remote control. Audio equipment are also culpable. Such equipment like CD players and stereo components makes up about 25 percent of standby losses.
Our communications devices, such as answering machines, cordless phones and fax machines also make use of a lot of energy while not being used but just waiting for a call or fax to come in. This equipment constitutes about 10 percent of home electricity losses, possibly more in the offices and other business settings.
Some of the major energy wasters in a lot of homes are those adapters that come along with rechargeable battery-operated devices such as cordless phones, laptops, cell phones, electric toothbrushes, digital cameras, handheld vacuums and pretty much anything else that needs to be charged for it to operate. These draw power for as long as they plugged into an outlet, irrespective of whether or not the device is connected to the charger. They even draw power when the battery is fully charged.
Numerous other household appliances also continue to draw electricity when they are not in use, including appliances like computer monitors with screensavers, ovens and microwave with digital clocks and any other gadget with a light or display. All these different appliances leak a variable amount of energy when not in use.
Ways to Cut Loss
The most effective way to stop appliances from leaking electricity is to simply unplug them. It is noteworthy to state that manufacturers have developed ways to cut down standby losses by redesigning circuits so as to reduce leakage or substituting transformers with switched-mode power supplies which are much smarter. Consumers can endeavor to purchase appliances that have the Energy Star rating. This means that they use much reduced amounts of energy. For an example, television sets that come with Energy Star ratings are able to save up to 75 percent of standby electricity losses.