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Many electronics and appliances such as DVD players, TVs, computers, and kitchen appliances continue to use small amounts of power (“vampire power”) even when they are turned off.

In fact, Energy Star estimates that 75% of the electricity in the average home is consumed while the products are turned off.

• If left plugged in, a video game console in idle mode will use $75 a year in power.
• A digital cable or satellite box will use $25 a year when the TV is turned off.
• A combo DVD/VCR player will use $13 a year if left on but not in use.
• A cordless power tool and charger will use $8 a year even when fully charged.

Therefore, unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.

For those you use regularly, use smart power strips to cut power to electronics when not needed.  For example, the Belkin Conserve Smart AV Outlet automatically cuts power to DVD players, gaming consoles, and surround sound systems when the TV is turned off, but leaves power on for devices like digital recorders and DVRs.

See other advice on saving money on electricity.