To save energy and money, put your personal energy to work

standby power is wasteful
standby power is wasteful

I've long thought that the suggestion to unplug electronics when not using them is impractical; all than bending over and moving furniture to get to the electrical outlet is much too much work for a nation addicted to remote controls.

Declaring war on standby power, the power electronics consume to remain ready to spring to life in an instant at your command, is a noble quest, but you might want to devote your energy to other, more fruitful ways to save electricity if you have not addressed them yet. Start with the big energy fails, and work your way back to standby power.

  • First, cultivate a habit of turning off lights. Even if you've swapped out those 100-watt incandescent bulbs for some low-energy CFL or LED ones, leaving lights on where they aren't needed is both wasteful and a sign of conspicuous consumption. Mr. Electricity estimates you could save $219 a year by simply turning off lights you don't need, another $90 by using compact fluorescents.