A woman sits in front of her laptop computer.

Electronics

What is ‘Always On’ power?

‘Always On’ power is the electricity wasted when electronics and appliances are left plugged in. That’s because computer equipment, TVs, and other electronic devices still draw power, even when they’re turned off. The same is true for mobile phones, tablets, and even hair dryers. When plugged in, rechargeable devices continue to consume power, even when they’re fully charged.

How can I reduce my ‘Always On’ power?

By unplugging appliances and electronics when they’re not in use, you can significantly reduce your ‘Always On’ power and save up to 10% of your electricity use. But that’s not always convenient. Here are some other ways.

Use a power bar with a timer:

  • Plug your computer equipment, such as your desktop or laptop, printer and other devices into one power bar. Then set the timer to “off” during the times you’re at work or asleep.
  • Create an overnight charging station by plugging your smart phones, tablets, cameras, or power tools into a power bar with timer. Then set the timer to run only for the time it takes for the devices to charge to full power.
  • Plug your coffee maker, toaster and other small kitchen appliances into power bars with timers so they are only on when you typically use them.

Use a power bar with auto shutoff:

  • A power bar with the auto-shutoff feature allows you to designate one device as the control device. When the control device is turned off or on, it automatically shuts down or turns on the power to the other connected devices.
  • Make your TV the control device and then plug all your entertainment devices — TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, game console and speakers — into a power bar with auto-shutoff. When you turn your TV on or off, it turns your other devices on or off as well.
  • Many power bars with auto shutoff also have a separate circuit that allows you to leave certain devices on, such as your PVR or cable/satellite box.

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label:

  • It’s not always possible to unplug every electronic device and appliance in your home. That’s why it’s important to look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing home appliances and electronics.
  • ENERGY STAR® certified products use less energy. For example, ENERGY STAR® certified audio and video devices are up to 70% more efficient than standard models. And on average, ENERGY STAR® certified televisions are at least 25% more energy efficient than other models.
  • ENERGY STAR® certified computers must feature an automatic power-down function that instantly switches the monitor into sleep mode (preferably a deep sleep mode) after a set period of inactivity. This important feature minimizes the usage of ‘Always On’ power.