Unplug and Save Money on Your Electric Bill

by Ann Marie Michaels on February 12, 2009

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unplug and save electricity

Last night I was watching an Oprah show about how to save money. They had a woman on named Rhondalyn from Baltimore, Maryland who shared a tip for saving money: unplugging all the stuff in your house you’re not using. Apparently we have to pay for the electricity for the things that are plugged in — even if they are turned off.

Honestly, I’ve heard about people doing this before and I always thought it was loony. Going around unplugging everything in your house to save a few cents? Seems nuts to me.

But then this lady Rhondalyn shared how much money she has saved. She said before she started unplugging, she was paying $268 per month for her electric bill. (We pay $275.) The first month she started unplugging, her bill was $91. That’s a savings of $177 per month! Now she had my attention.

She said the next month she became much more vigilant about unplugging and her bill was $60.42.

Over $200 per month, people. $207.58, to be exact. A savings of 77%.

I don’t think you have to unplug everything because not all appliances draw energy. You really need to watch for appliances that have “transformers” and devices that are in “stand by”. These include VCRs, DVD players, computers, cell phone chargers, and microwave ovens.

Read this page about which devices are most important to unplug and how much you can save: Vampire Power! (AKA Standby Power)

He says the average cost for phantom power is only 5% of your bill. So I’m not sure how Rhondalyn saved so much. But here’s my hypothesis… I bet that when she became more conscious of what was plugged in and what wasn’t, she probably used less electricity.

But heck, even if you could cut your electricity bill in half, wouldn’t that be nice?

I told my husband and he said, “Let’s do it.” Of course we won’t be unplugging the Tivo because we gotta record our shows. But what else can we unplug?

Looking around my house right now, I can see many many things we can easily leave unplugged. The microwave, for example. We never use it. Ever. All the computers and computer equipment in our office (there’s a ton of it). We also have a Wii, two Playstations, a DVD player — all things we could unplug.

And of course there’s my Sonicare toothbrush that I never use anymore. I bought it a few years ago when I was having lots of dental problems. I had to have a root canal and every time I turned around, I had more cavities. The dentist recommended the Sonicare.

But guess what? Since I’ve been eating traditional foods (drinking raw milk & eating grass-fed beef and butter, avoiding white flour and sugar) for the past year and a half, I haven’t had any cavities. Not a single one. In fact, all my tooth pain and sensitivity is gone. And I haven’t used the Sonicare once. Guess I can unplug that puppy!

We’re going to try this unplugging thing. I’ll keep you posted.

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