I enjoy people watching. It's fun! I also have LOTS of pet peeves. And I'm OK with this...
The other day, I was watching a friend cook dinner... maybe a little creepy, but *meh*. When she went to use the toaster, she wasted a full 4 seconds plugging it in... when the toast was done, she unplugged it again (OK, so that only took a second).
I asked her about this activity, and she said she had heard that unused electronics accounted for a substantial amount of annual electricity usage... being a smart guy I immediately thought 'no fucking way,' voicing it friendlier as: "I have a Kill-A-Watt meter that will disprove this annoying 'statistic.' I hear it all the time." Accounts range from 10% to 25% . . . WHO CAME UP WITH THIS?
OK, so to get this started, a coffee pot (electronic controls), off (0Watts):
Next, my Kitchen Aid mixer, off (0W):
My microwave, off (0W):
A tea kettle, off (0W):
The ubiquitous power transformer, with no device attached (0W):
Dell laptop brick, no computer plugged in (0W):
Apple laptop brick, no MacBook plugged in (0W):
24" iMac Core2Duo, off AND in 'sleep' mode (0W for 1 sec, then 5W for 1 sec, cyclical):
One interesting thing to note about the iMac: when on and screen brightness is at the lowest setting, the computer uses 89W. At brightest setting, 120W... and when calculating 10000000000^10000000000 (i.e. processors maxed), 136W.
A music pre-amplifier (with remote on feature), off (0W):
A coffeepot, tea kettle, mixer, microwave, toaster, 2 dell adapters, 1 macbook adapter, cell phone charger, and two additional power adapters, everything off (3W):
So... calculating out .003 + .0025 (for the computer) KW X 24/hours (per day) X 30 days (per month) equals 4 KWH, or at Austin rates, about thirty-six cents per month on the 'ole electricity bill. That's worth it to me to keep things plugged in, and nowhere near 10-25% of my power bill. Not. Even. Close.
So stop wasting your time 'saving the planet' with this busted claim... instead, try recycling metal and glass instead, reducing the time you use your electronics, and in general not being a gluttonous fool. We all try, I guess...
So what about that toaster?
You owe me dinner...
PS I do not own a TV, but will test this, along with an XBox tomorrow (according to wikipedia, modern TVs use <1W in standby ["Every tv I've tested made the Kill-A-Watt read 1 watt -- reddit user 'dickbutt']). And stop eating meat. That seems to be the important thing... and who the fuck unplugs their desktop?
Wikipedia article on "Phantom Load" claims 5-10% annual US consumption is from standby power... can't argue with Wiki :) )
Things to unplug (thanks angry redditers who don't actually unplug these things because they'd lose programming):
DVR (Only 2W difference between on and off)
Desktop Computer (maybe)?