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Standby modes waste energy while they wait. Standby modes waste energy while they wait.

Lights Are On But Nobody's Home

Okay let's face it, most of us are conscientious enough to flip the switch when we're done using our electrical appliances. But, there's more to saving energy than turning off the lights when you leave the room. Experts say we're wasting up to 10 percent of household power on "standby" loads. Now, that may sound like flight speak, but what they're saying is that clock radios, video displays, chargers, timers, and plug-ins of all varieties are using energy even when they're not "on". What to do? Other than shutting them down or unplugging the nasty culprits, you can look for Energy Star rated appliances for starters. In California, you have to— no way around it. The law there now states that no television or DVD player can have a standby demand of more than 3 watts. Granted, some are screaming for 1 watt maximums, but that debate can rage on while we all figure out if it's even possible. For now, push the debate to the floor—ask appliance salespeople what the standby load it, check around the house for how many appliances stand in wait for you, unplug where you can, shut off if possible, and stay current on the topic. New appliances are on the horizon—we just need to ask for them.


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