Skip to content


2011 February 24

By Lina Younes

At home, recharging our mobile phones, MP3 players, portable game systems, and digital cameras seems to be part of our family daily ritual. We usually charge them right before going to bed. But when you come to think about it, these electronics stay in their respective chargers for hours after being fully charged. What a waste of energy.

Did you know that on average these portable electronics consume about 4 percent of the electricity in the home? When you add other household appliances, all these products account for more than 15 percent of household energy use. Did you know that these small electronics and other consumer appliances continue to use energy even when they are turned off? So, what are some simple ways to save energy in the home?

  • Well for starters, unplugging chargers while not in use can go a long way to saving energy!
  • If you are not going to be using your computer for over 20 minutes, turn it off.
  • Plug computers and other electronics to power strips. Switch the power strip off when not in use.

Becoming aware of these so called energy vampires is a good start to saving energy. So, what have you been doing to reduce energy consumption? We would like to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as Acting Associate Director for Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Valerie Hetzel permalink
    February 24, 2011

    I turn off all gfci outlets until I need them. And I install power strips on computers, coffee makers, vcr, tv, and anything that has a clock. If I left all the clocks on in my kitchen, I would have five running.
    I m ready to purchase a nice old fashion alarm clock, because I don’t like the glare of the light.

    I also built a solar charged scooter, waiting for me this spring.
    I could post a pic if i new how.

  2. Maria permalink
    February 24, 2011

    I agree, if one has no use for certain electirc gadgets, then why have them connected? One is just waisting electricity on something that is just staying idle. Especially microwaves!!

    Great post!

  3. armansyahardanis permalink
    February 24, 2011

    Family Planning.

    If I am not wrong, the developing countries more waster energy than the development countries. Main aspect is ‘cultures’. In other hand, for example, I’m cries, here, when seeing the kids to ride motorcycle, not bicycle. The men buy the cars by salary just enough to live on. The legislators paid the people and then corruption. Most of them want so fastest and instants. They have not planning…..
    “We usually charge them right before going to bed”, is a nice sentence from you who explain the kind of family planning, a smallest unity of the best culture. Good article !!!

  4. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 27, 2011

    The small electronics are major users of electricity. And now that many electric and natural gas companies are taking out their traditional meters and replacing them with smart meters, more electric appliances willcost alot more money in power bills. But the good news for dog owners is the installation of the new smart meters in many places means the end of the meter reader coming to each house once amonth because the smart meters are remotely read from a central point 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  5. Trova Prezzi permalink
    May 6, 2011

    I agree!! Great post!

    Buy electronic at energy save

  6. Patricia Kane permalink
    July 8, 2011

    Vampire energy is a huge concern! Get yourself a “Smart Strip” and forget it! Check out this energy saving surge protector-it’s a very simple inexpensive way to go green and reduce both your vampire issue and your carbon footprint! This device reduces the typical computer station’s power usage by over 70%!!! Additionally, it will help at home on your TV & entertainment system, too. If everyone would get a Smart Strip we would reduce America’s carbon footprint by billions of tons.
    You have to wonder why people would donate their money to the power company for power they’re not using——

  7. Patricia Kane permalink
    July 8, 2011

    While I have your ear-I mean eyes: Most of us leave the cell phone chargers dangling for the outlet, grab our phones and go, leaving it to munch away on power all day. Most of the things we charge die early because we over-charge them. After you check out the Smart Strip at Bits Limited-Check out the Charging Station-it charges till charging is complete & turns itself off! Stop burning up batteries and vampire energy-you keep your money in your budget!

    Thanks and have a great green day-please

  8. Patricia Kane permalink
    July 8, 2011

    Our company motto is “Going Green Made Easy” Please check out the “Charging Stations”–they shut off automatically when charging is completed-you can stop burning up batteries and donating your money to the power company-you need it, right?
    Check it out

    Have a great green day, please!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS