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Unplug unused appliances and chargers—they're wasting energy. Unplug unused appliances and chargers—they're wasting energy.

Unplug the Chargers

Have you ever noticed how resistant people are to changing their ways or even understanding new views on energy consumption? Our electric bill threw the entire house for a loop this week, so it was nice when one of the kids asked if leaving his charger plugged in while not in use was draining energy. "Yes," I replied. "Of course not," my husband countered. I flipped! Had he not been reading the articles all over our house about increasing energy efficiency and becoming wiser consumers? Like many, he decided this was a myth. Well, it's not. Phantom loads are very real. There is a drain on every appliance, charger, computer, and plugged in appliance in the home—even when they're not in use. Yup, the coffee maker, cell-phone charger, stove, are all consuming energy just beacause they are plugged in. According to afreshsqueeze.com, up to 8 percent of annual energy use, or almost one month of your electric bills, goes to pay for phantom loads. The simplest solution is to put a set of appliances onto a power strip and flip the strip off when you leave the house or go to bed. Better yet, invest in Energy Star appliances that reduce the standing load to a negligible level. Give it a try, start reducing your phantom loads and see what kind of savings you get. I'd love to hear. I'm planning to keep track of my savings, too.

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