benefit #24 – use less standby power

i have written previously on the direct financial benefits of minimalism (buy less things = save more money).  benefit #24 again relates to the financial benefits of minimalism, but this time the extra expense comes from the things already in your home.

meet standby power:  many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. these “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as vcrs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances.   (the us department of energy)

in britain, standby (or phantom) power accounts for 8% of all british domestic power consumption. a similar study in france found that standby power accounted for 7% of total residential consumption. some estimates put the proportion of consumption due to standby power as high as 13%.

the popular solution to reduce standby power in your home (and save 5-10% on your electrical bill) is to unplug your electric appliances when they are not in use or attach each of them to a powerstrip that can be powered off.

of course, another solution is to just reduce the number of electrical appliances in your home.

related posts:

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    Argh … can you and so many other late-web-writers please learn the difference between less and fewer? Google is your friend. Look it up, and stop sounding stupid. You probably also use I as an object because you never learned the difference, don’t you?

  2. Rick is a Dick says

    Rick … can you and so many other we-is-teh-grammar-polices kindly STFU? I know you feel compelled to correct peoples’ grammar in an attempt to feel superior, proper, etc. But your additions to the interwebs are pollution and rude.

    [Not to mention, if you look “less” up in a contemporary dictionary, you’ll find that it can indeed be used to indicate a lower number.]

  3. Aitch says

    I continue on a path to minimalism but on the other hand I am a realist and recognise that sometimes I need to buy new devices. I have a pseudo household rule of thumb that says “1 plug in”, “2 plugs out”.

    I needed a new printer for my business correspondence but spent a bit more than usual getting a high quality device that had wireless and an on/off button (wow!!). My previous contraption involved a print server.

    Result: +1 new printer plug; -1 old printer plug, -1 old network print server plug.

    We bought a new TV (to replace an inefficient 20 year old CRT) and again, +1 new TV, -1 old TV, -1 digibox no longer required as built in. And one of the criteria was a nice easy to access on / off switch!

    This gradual war of attrition on plugs over the last few years has greatly reduced our “standby” and I measure this with an “Owl” device .

  4. Amy says

    What’s really ironic about Rick’s comment is that if he really wanted to be the grammar police, he should have been all over the lack of capitalization first rather than worrying about a rather nit-picky points of language use.

    (By the way, your stuff is great and I don’t give three hoo-hahs about your use of capitals or the word less)

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