How many electronic devices do you have that require a battery to be recharged? The obvious products add up quickly – cell phones, iPods, laptops, and Bluetooth headsets.
But what about your camera battery? Your electric toothbrush? Your Dust Buster? Your drill? Your rechargeable battery charger? Over 600 million products in America's homes and offices require battery chargers.
Have you ever noticed that your charger remains warm even when no laptop or phone is connected? Many of these draw a current whether or not batteries are actually charging. Drawing a current is another way to say using energy, which is also another way of saying wasting money.
If the battery isn't being charged, it doesn't make sense to leave it plugged in. Why not make a habit of unplugging the charger from the wall when you unplug your device from the charger? We have over 600 million opportunities to reduce energy use – let's give it a try.
Here's a tip: Plug your chargers into a power strip and position it so that the switch is easily accessible (like on the top of your desk). That way, it takes only one easy push of a button to turn everything off.
Like chargers, electronics left on standby also draw phantom electricity even when not in use. Home entertainment systems can be one of the biggest culprits of wasted electricity in your household. But don't despair! The Belkin Conserve Smart AVTM surge protector ($30) allows you to control power to your whole entertainment system through your TV's power button. When you turn off your TV, your DVD players, VCRs, gaming consoles, receivers, and subwoofers automatically turn off too. This smart solution alone could save you an estimated $76 per year.