Even when your TV is turned off, it (like most electrical devices) is still using power if it’s plugged in. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that Americans waste $4 billion a year on “vampire electronics." When you consider that the cost comes out to $130 per household, unplugging at night seems like a no-brainer. Here’s how to identify and conveniently power down the biggest offenders.
Look for remote controls. Remote controls are a sign of an extra-active device – one that’s waiting and prepared to respond at the click of a button. Among these devices, plasma TVs are the greatest energy offenders, costing about $165 a year for standby power consumption alone! Power these puppies down at night. Note: We’ll make an exception for the DVR, because it needs to remain “On” in order to record those hilarious late night shows.
Use a power strip. For those gluttonous remote control devices near one another (like your TV, Apple TV or X-Box), plug them into a single surge protector to make turning them on and off a breeze. Better yet, there are now smart options like Belkin's Conserve Socket, which turns off up to five peripheral devices automatically when the TV is powered down.
Eliminate chargers. If you’re actually charging your cell phone, tablet or camera battery at night, then disregard this step. However, when those items are fully juiced, pull the plug on their chargers. Tip: Start the charge session a few hours before bedtime so you can unplug before hitting the lights.
Cover kitchen sockets. You may not want to turn some kitchen devices (like coffee makers and microwaves) off at night because it’s a hassle to turn them back on (hello, flashing 12:00!). Instead, use energy-saving outlet switches. These magical gadgets draw zero power when switched off, but restore devices to their full, time-correct glory when flipped on.