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20 unique ways to save money

By: Laura Moss on Feb. 28, 2011, 11:25 a.m.
unplugging cord

Photo: functoruser/Flickr

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Unplug (virtually) everything

Even when you're not watching TV or charging your cell phone, your TV set, phone charger and all the appliances that remain plugged in are still using energy — and it's costing your money. It's called standby electricity loss, and research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that it accounts for about 5 percent of all residential electricity use, which means we may be spending as much as $7 billion a year on residential standby power alone.

Want to estimate how much standby power you're using when you leave the coffee maker plugged in or your screen saver on? This standby power chart provides tables of the minimum, average and maximum power used by appliances.