A woman sits in front of her laptop computer.


  • Electronics and appliances left plugged in, even when turned off, still draw power.  It’s called Always On power.
  • You can save up to 10% on your electricity use by unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not in use.  Better yet, use a power bar with a timer or auto-shutoff to automatically power off devices during periods of inactivity.
  • Some major culprits of Always On power include: computer equipment, TVs, cable/satellite boxes, game consoles, DVD players and stereos.
  • When plugged in, rechargeable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, MP3 players and even hair dryers still draw power even when turned off or when they have finished charging.

Ways to use a power bar with a timer:

  • Plug computer equipment, such as your desktop computer, printer, modem and Wi-Fi router into one power bar, and then set the timer to be “off” while you’re at work and asleep. Maybe this equipment is only be required for an hour or two in the evening.
  • Create a charging station by plugging smart phones, tablets, cameras, power tools, etc. into a power bar with timer and set it to run only for a certain amount of time at night. That gives enough time for chargers to reach full power, and be ready to use bright and early the next day. 
  • Plug coffee makers and other small kitchen appliances into power bars with timers so they are only on during hours you typically use them.

Ways to use a power bar with auto shutoff:

  • Plug entertainment devices such as your TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, game console and stereo into a power bar with auto-shutoff. It allows you to designate one item, such as your TV, as the controlling device that when turned off will automatically shut down power to the other connected devices.  When your TV is turned on, power is restored to all. Many 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 and typically have built-in power-saving features.

Computers and Office Equipment

  • Shut your computer down when not in use to save electricity and reduce wear on your system.
  • Electronic devices left plugged in, even when turned off, still draw power. Plug the following electronics into a power bar with a timer or auto-shut off and make sure they are off during periods of inactivity. For example: television, home theatre system, computer, monitor, printer, scanner, rechargeable devices (MP3 players, cell phones, battery chargers etc.), and game console.
  • When replacing your computer, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified model.
  • A screen-saver doesn’t save energy.
  • Make sure any computer you purchase has an automatic power-down function that will automatically switch the monitor into sleep mode (preferably a deep sleep mode) after a set period of inactivity. (A feature mandatory for the ENERGY STAR rating).
  • Up to 70% of a PVR set-top box’s energy consumption comes from standby energy use (power used when it is turned off).
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol when shopping for audio and video equipment.  It is up to 60% more efficient than conventional models.
  • On average, ENERGY STAR certified televisions are over 25% more energy efficient than conventional models. They save energy in all usage modes: sleep, idle, and on.