Cable Boxes Slurp More Electricity Than Refrigerators

The biggest energy hog in your house is probably sitting right under your TV. That little ol’ set-top box could be using up more electricity in your house than your refrigerator or central air conditioning, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The 160 million devices combined use up $3 billion in electricity a year, 66% of it when no one is watching and no shows are being recorded. That’s because it’s cheaper for cable companies to have them designed to run full-blast all the time, rather than waste money making ones with power-saving modes.

In the short-term, you can cut your power drain by plugging all your media producing boxes – TV, DVD player, cable, etc – into one power strip and turning it off when not in use.

And in the long-run, you can also lobby your cable company and the FCC to add power-saving modes to cable boxes.

Better Viewing, Lower Energy Bills, and Less Pollution [Natural Resources Defense Council
via MoneyTalksNews]

Comments

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  1. Mike says:

    In a related story: Cable slurps up more money a month than it ever should.

    Ditch cable.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    So you’re saying that cable companies make cable boxes as cheaply as possible because they don’t have to pay for the electricity to run them and then charge you exorbitant rates for them to make massive profits?

    Say it ain’t so.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Not only is cable ripping us off, they are in collusion with the utilities to cause us to consume more power than necessary.

      If cable companies would simply send all their content through the cable using standard broadcast ATSC signals then we could simply use the built-in tuners that come with our TVs. But no, they want to rent us an unnecessary device which then uses more WATTS than necessary. They could use cable-card too, but no, they never liked that idea either. So I say… SUCK IT! I’m not playing or paying.

      • ecvogel says:

        Comcast has cable cards. Finding a tv that supports it might be the issue. I could buy a $400 tv tuner for my pc and pay I think $4 /mn for a Comcast M cablecard (M mean multiple streams). My tuner supports unexcryupted tv channels which means locals. It then uses the coax as an anttena to pull int the .2 .3 .4 substations

  3. dulcinea47 says:

    Yeah, no. My electric bill goes up drastically when I run the central a/c. I got rid of the cable and it did not go down at all.

    • TXVR6 says:

      Yeah I’m afraid I have to raise the bullshit flag on that as well. There’s no way it’s pulling that many amps.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        I think the key word here is “MAY”
        Your cable box / DVR is on 24/7. A modern, efficient fridge only runs for a few minutes at a time.
        Very possible.

        The A/C being cheaper, however, is hard to believe.

      • kingofmars says:

        I agree with you as well. While cable boxes certainly do use as much power weather they are on or off, they are also not running a compressor. I’ve plugged a kill-o-watt meter into a cable box and confirmed the power usage. I’ve never run it on a fridge though. Maybe I will tonight.

        • SuperQ says:

          Run the power meter on your fridge for a week or so. Since it’s a cycled device that has to deal with things like adding warm food, daytime vs night time temps, and simply opening the door you need to average kwh use over a longer period of time.

      • zzyzzx says:

        I agree. There is just no way the cable box uses more electricity.

        • dangermike says:

          Let’s say you run AC 6 hours a day, 3 months out of the year. That’s 540 hours per year. Now your cable box is on 24/7, ready to run its DVR process. That’s 8766 hours. Let’s say the cable box burns 20 watts. That’s 175 kWh per year. Divide that by 540 and it’ll tell you that if the AC is burning less than 325 W while operational, then the cable box will be consuming more power. It’s worth noting, however, that since almost half of the time the cable box is running will be during off peak hours and since there won’t be any large spikes in operating the cable box like there might be when starting up an AC compressor’s motor, the price of running would almost certainly be higher even if the annualized power usages are equal.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            No central Air system draws less than 375W, and anyone in a warm climate is running a lot more hours than that.

            I just calculated my Air conditioning cost at $800/year for a 60000 btu central air system. I used smart meter data to get baseline consumption and attributed anything over base to the AC (not really accurate, but as close as I could do). That was at 0.8 cents per kW/h.

            • dangermike says:

              I live in a fairly temperate climate so that struck me as rather moderate to heavy usage here (to be honest, I don’t even have AC). Also, It wouldn’t surprise me if some cable boxes burn as much as 30-40 watts but a quick google search didn’t turn much up. I just chose numbers that seemed like fairly reasonable guesses, and landed on figures much less than an order of magnitude apart. I do agree that 325 would be extremely light for central AC.

              Now that I’m at home and have the opportunity to do a little poking around, I found a few forum postings with kill-a-watt readings and it looks like 25 W is typical. I asked a friend who has central AC how much he ran it in the last year, and he said probably a month through the year. If we assume that it was 12 hours a day for 4 weeks, that’s 336 hours. So that’s 219 kWh for a typical cable box which would require a 652 W expenditure from what I’ll assume is typical AC usage around here. Not exactly scientific, but it certainly doesn’t seem unreasonable that some people can use less power in a year’s usage of AC than by a 24/7 usage of a cable box.

      • O2C says:

        If you read the actual report, you’ll see that Consumerist made the normal media mistake of repeating sensational headlines instead of actually reporting the facts. The report compares the energy usage of a typical HD-DVR + typcal HD client box to a new Energy Star fridge. To put this all in perspective, leave a 60W incandescent light on 24/7, will consume more energy than either of those.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Your refrigerator uses a lot less power than an air conditioner. That’s not a fair comparison.

      • Eviile says:

        “That little ol’ set-top box could be using up more electricity in your house than your refrigerator or central air conditioning”

        Huh?

  4. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    There are power strips on the market (disclaimer: my company sells them retail to consumers) that have ‘smart’ outlets that only power up when a load is present on a special plug in the strip. In other words, if your TV is on, then the other outlets are powered, but when it’s off, they’re off. You can plug in your stereo/subwoofer/cable box/what have you into the ‘switched’ outlets and be sure they’re not drawing power when they’re not ‘supposed’ to be.

    Of course, if your DVR/Cable box is like mine, it takes nearly ten minutes to power up after being unplugged, so it’s not that helpful in this case. Still, it would save you power if you used it for your stereo.

    • RxDude says:

      Exactly. Cut power to the cable/satellite box when your not watching, then when you power up to watch a show, the show will be half over by the time you have signal.

    • He says:

      Yes, those power strips are the only things Monster Cables has ever built that were close to being worth the cost

    • kc2idf says:

      Combine that with a timer for the win. Timer kicks over the power to the cable box a little while before you usually turn on your TV and then kicks the power back off some time after you usually turn in for the night, but only if the TV is off.

      Of course, this also defeats the purpose of a DVR. Non-DVR boxes, fine, but for a DVR, it needs to be running at least at the time things are being recorded.

      • jen says:

        I agree, a DVR box has to be running all the time. I have a Tivo, I wonder if they are as much of a power suck as a typical cable co DVR? Because they reall need to run all the time. They take forever to start up, and they actually record stuff all the time. First of all, it often records a show I’ve selected at an off time (e.g., the Daily Show – it will record the repeat at 3AM or whatever if the 11PM slot overlaps with something else), and it records “suggestions” which are kind of like nice little presents that it has waiting for me when I get home, other shows it thinks I will like that it records when it’s not busy. Of course I have a 5 year old so half those suggestions are in the “Nicktoons” vein. But still.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Ours takes almost 10 minutes to power up after power has been off also. And since we use the DVR capability to record shows and varying times through out the day and night, using a timer device to power it back on before use is a no-go also. I’ll just have to live with the higher cable bills. Even when we’re on vacation we have it set to record shows so it’s on almost 100% of the time.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        Mine also takes forever to boot. But I leave my TV on all day so the cats have some noise. Am I evil?

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          A radio would probably use less power. Just sayin.

    • physics2010 says:

      My dad had one of those smart plugs with the tv plugged into the master socket. If the scene on his tv goes dark for too long everything else turns off. Perhaps LED tv’s are bit too efficient.

  5. the_Jenkins says:

    We’re canceling our cable service this soon and will save around $100/month. It’s definitely not worth it, considering all the shows suck, we don’t want 3/4 of the channels and we have netflix.

    • KaralynK says:

      Same here. We were paying for internet/cable tv and it was just too expensive for cable tv we never watch. We have a toddler – he watches Nick Jr sometimes. I literally never changed the station because we don’t watch anythign else.l

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        PBS for the kids. Kids shows from morning to about 4 pm. Educational, and no commercials, either!

        • the_Jenkins says:

          Sold!

        • SteveZim1017 says:

          to be fair Nick Jr has no commercials either, is 24 hr and most of the shows are educational as well. I dunno about regular Nick cause our son is still too young for it but Nick Jr is great.

    • Skyhawk says:

      The only problem is live sporting events.
      Long gone are the days when you could see all your home team’s games OTA.

      Without cable, I would have missed 75% of the Bruins playoff run. Not to mention the Patriots having a few games on ESPN, not OTA and 100% of the Red Sox games only on cable.

      Seeing as live sporting events make up most of my TV viewing, I can’t cut the cord yet. :(

  6. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “In the short-term, you can cut your power drain by plugging all your media producing boxes – TV, DVD player, cable, etc – into one power strip and turning it off when not in use.”

    Sure, if you don’t mind re-setting all time/date functions, and possibly other settings, every time you want to use those devices.

    Secondly, just to point out, the boxes we got from Dish apparently have a “sleep mode” – after a certain amount of time you have to push a button on the remote to wake it up and get it to start decoding TV shows again.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Hey, yeah. You just reminded me that my Scientific Atlanta cable box has that as well, through Time Warner. It’ll come on and say it’s been on x hours, and I have to press a specific key to prevent sleep mode.

  7. Ashman says:

    But if I unplug it, not only will it take 10 minutes to boot up, but my Favorite shows wont be recorded….

    one would think that by hitting the button that says power off actually meant to power it off. I would think they would go into a standby mode and wake up only to record your shows.

    Then again, My DVR for Directv’s hard disk always seems to be chugging away at something.

    • tbax929 says:

      That’s why it wouldn’t work for me. I have to DVRs, and they both tape a lot of stuff during the week when I’m not around to watch things live. It’s especially hard during baseball season; sometimes I’m taping two or three games at a time.

  8. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Two things you shouldn’t pay for, TV and bottled water.

    One more reason to kick Pay TV to the curb.

    • PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:

      But what if I want to watch the 152 Twins games that are only on cable TV this year? Or college football on ESPN? Or the Minnesota Timberwolves (yes, I still watch them). If sports didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have cable. They do, so I do. It sucks, but dems the breaks.

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        I’m serious looking into MLB.tv for Twins games. I hate paying for cable TV and baseball is just about the only reason I have it.

        • PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:

          That only works if you are outside their blackout area. If it didn’t, I would be a member and ditch cable for good.

  9. Hoss says:

    Is says the newer HD boxes w/o DVR uses 171 units and the refrigerator uses 425 units.

  10. DurkaDurkaDurka says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Unless the wattage (or “I hope not” kilowattage) on the back of the box is more than what the ratings of your fridge or A/C unit are, it can not possibly use more electricity. Unless they falsely labeled their wattage ratings in which case I think the FCC would probably be knocking on the door to corporate headquarters of said cable box manufacturer.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      It’s based on the finding that a ‘typical household setup’ is both a DVR and a set top box that run 24/7 nonstop – not typical in mind experience.

      Refridgerators use high wattage but not all the time.- they (for the sake of argument) turn off once the temp gets low enough, and then turns back on when it warms up slightly.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        Generally a DVR is something that you use INSTEAD of a set top box. Either that or it’s in another room entirely and may not need to be powered on most of the time.

        Although admittedly, some cable receivers can take quite a long time to start up.

        An “extender” or “streamer” can be shut off at will. My HTPC setup in the bedroom remains powered off entirely when not in use. (power strip)

    • dolemite says:

      Someone else pointed it out above. Fridge and AC only run a few minutes at a time, with long periods in-between. DVR/cablebox runs 24/7 pulling max power. I may test my DVR when I get home to see what it pulls.

      • Hawkins says:

        This is an important distinction.

        Energy use is measured (and billed) not in kilowatts, but in kilowatt-HOURS: if you run the hair dryer for two minutes, that’s twice as much energy as running it for one minute.

        For energy-suckage, comparing my DVR to my central air system might make sense, if the DVR is on all year round, 24 hours every day, but the A/C compressor is only on in the summer, intermittently, a few hours a day.

        • DurkaDurkaDurka says:

          I guess in that respect it would make sense but it depends on where you live as well. Here in Texas where it’s over 90 degrees 8 months out of the year, the A/C is on quite a bit and accounts for the majority of my electric bill.

          • econobiker says:

            I can completely agree with the power draw issue. My in-laws just got these goofy little boxes (maybe 3″ x 5″ x 1.5″ tall) for each old TV to run a digital cable remote control and those little boxes stay warm all the time. (This is in the south-central KY area.)

            • poehitman says:

              Do you mean the little boxes to receive the digital broadcast (over the air) channels? If so, then we are talking about different things.

  11. Portlandia says:

    Given the amount of heat it generates in the cabinet that it resides I believe this. It’s like a blast furnace in there. I’ve had to install a circulating fan.

  12. ap0 says:

    When I had cable, if the box lost power even for a second, it’d lose all its guide data and would take almost an hour to get back up to speed. If you wanted to watch TV, good luck — it had to download all its information again, and that took AGES. I almost considered putting the cable box on a UPS just so that wouldn’t happen. Terrible advice unless you know hours beforehand that you might want to watch TV later.

    • dolemite says:

      Well not only that, but a lot of the cable boxes are DVRs now. So, if you turn it off, you won’t have your shows recorded (and yeah, it takes about 10-30 min for mine to get back to normal after the power is off).

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Wow, only an hour – our power flickered out for about a minute on Saturday and I still have stuff in the DVR listed as To Be Announced because it hasn’t gotten fully updated. I would love to turn all this stuff off but the data loss is just astounding to me for a minute – doing it for the time I am at work could take years to update.

  13. dadelus says:

    I have AT&T U-verse, and my box always goes into a “sleep mode” when it isn’t in use. Obviously it’s still on and drawing power at that time, but I typically have to wake it in the morning to watch tv.

    I would have to hook it up to a kill-a-watt to see if there is any difference in power usage between normal usage and sleep mode.

    • Wireless Joe says:

      From the study:

      “The most efficient U.S. HD-DVRs tested were AT&T’s IPTV boxes, drawing approximately 18 watts when operating (On mode) and 12 watts in light sleep state.”

  14. rpm773 says:

    So is the unit still using electricity when it’s powered off? And how much compared to when it is on?

    My setup turns off the cable box when I turn off the TV and subwoofer. I assumed little juice would be running through it when it’s off, but just a fraction of what it uses when it’s on. Is that not the case?

    • KhaiJB says:

      yes, because it’s never really powered off. it just goes into a low power state that’s still drawing current.

      • kingofmars says:

        And that lower power state isn’t really that low, it’s almost the same. I verified that with a kill-o-watt. A game system uses a lot less power than a setop box when “off,” but uses up to three times as much when on.

  15. PunditGuy says:

    I built my own DVR at home. MythTV + OTA + Hulu (for cable networks I no longer have) = highly entertaining. Green hard drive, passive-cooled video card, modern and efficient processor — I haven’t used a meter, but I’m assuming it’s more efficient than a cable box.

  16. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    Oh crap now I have to tell me wife she was right all along. She always told me that those boxes are electric vampires but never believed her. We gave Comcrap the boot about 4 months ago and I have noticed a decline in our ComEd bill by at least 25 bucks a month. We still watch the same amount of TV via Netflix. We had a total of 3 dvr boxes sucking up juice in our house.

  17. qbubbles says:

    Meh, if I did that, I’d miss Teen Mom. And then where would I get all my parenting advice from!?!?

  18. josephpr says:

    I have Verizon Fios (no DVR), and if we lose power in a storm, etc., I don’t notice it taking that long to get back in operation. I will test this, and if no major effect, will put my box and tv on a power strip, at least for when we go away for the weekend.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      If you look in the box installed, Verizon Fios comes with a Nice big battery to keep you powered for many hours. Hence you are probably seeing the information saved due to the battery.

      It could also be that since it is on all the time, it KNOWS when it disappears from the service. Once it does, it shoots the info down the line at the beautiful speeds it has…

      Notice the jealousy here??? Fios coming to my area since 2008, and still no sign of it.
      B*ST*RDS.

  19. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    The biggest problem is that these boxes take about 10 minutes to start up from a power outage. Unplugging them is very inconvenient.

  20. areaman says:

    Another reason why I’m glad to be part of the underclass who cannot pay for cable.

  21. Snaptastic says:

    Many years ago I had cable (and a cable box). I didn’t like the fact that it was on 24/7 even if I didn’t watch the tv, so I unplugged it whenever I wasn’t watching it. Comcast sent me LOTS of notes and made lots of phone calls to inform me that my cable box wasn’t sending them a signal.

    Every time I tried to explain the situation, they would feed me some bullshit line about the necessity of keeping to box on 24/7. I finally just ignored them until I moved–then I never got cable again.

  22. prag2 says:

    My cable boxes take about 5 minutes to boot up so putting them on a power strip isn’t really an option. I wish there were more (any) TVs with a cable card slot. I could ditch the boxes on the bedroom TVs in that case. In addition to the power savings CableCards are $6 cheaper per month to rent.

  23. code65536 says:

    My parents have a satellite receiver from Dish Network that caught my eye when I audited their electricity usage a few years ago. It’s a simple thing: no DVR, no HD, nothing fancy, just the bare minimum to receive international TV.

    It consumes around 20W when it is tuned to a channel and decoding the digital video stream that it gets from the satellite.

    It consumes around 20W when it the tuner is “off” and it is not tuning into a channel and not decoding a video stream.

    This thing thus consumes 175 KWh every year. At 10c/KWh, that’s $17.50 per year.

    I understand the need for some “vampire” power to maintain the volatile RAM so that you don’t go through the lengthy initialization when you boot up. I understand the need for some “vampire” power so that you maintain a link to the satellite and don’t have to re-acquire it. These are the two things that it legitimately needs to maintain. And it should NOT take anywhere close to 20W to maintain them. A lot of people say that the vampire power is needed to maintain this sort of responsiveness, and I agree. But that vampire power only needs to be a couple of watts at most. The fact that it uses the same 20W when decoding and not decoding means that this thing has absolutely ZERO power-saving mechanisms.

    This is a lot like computers from the 80′s and earlier: using the same power no matter what you do. Computers these days are much smarter. My desktop computer uses 20W when it is idling and up to 90W when it is busy. And when I put it to sleep (i.e., maintaining the state of the volatile memory), that drops down to 1W (and it resumes from sleep in literally a coupe of seconds; no responsiveness issues here!).

    None of this is technically difficult: the technology’s been around for decades. Nor is it that expensive. Over the course of just 1 year, this Dish box would have wasted $17.50. There is no way that implementing these basic power saving mechanisms could exceed that cost per-unit.

  24. wrbwrx says:

    or you could just ditch the cable box like many other readers have suggested.

    Just dont leave the PC on instead.

  25. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    All the more reason to ditch cable.

    I’ve realized over the past few months (1) there’s nothing on and (2) even if there is something worth watching, the shows I usually watch are on network TV or are available a week or so later on the channel’s website.

    Since my house sits in what seems to be an OTA dead area, my master plan is to cut back the Comcast television portion of the package to the basic network channels only. No cable box needed.

    • The Twilight Clone says:

      You can’t do that where I live, because everything’s digital now. Even basic cable is digital.

      • Battlehork says:

        Most HDTVs can decode ClearQAM unencrypted digital cable signals which would include the local channels, but probably not much else. There’s also PC-based tuners that can do this so you can make your own DVRs at home, that can even sleep properly.

  26. JHDarkLeg says:

    My cable box uses 10W when on. I’m pretty sure my fridge uses more than that.

    • sqlrob says:

      Right, the key words there are “When on”

      Which is on more?

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        Mine uses 15W and is on all the time. I’ll show you what that costs.

        15W for 24h is 0.36kWh. Around here, it’s $0.08 / kWh. So it costs about 3 cents per day to run that cable box.

        My fridge draws about 790W. I don’t know how much it runs, but it depends on the ambient air temperature. If it runs four hours a day, that’s about 25 cents per day.

        The fridge uses WAY more power than any cable box. So I don’t know where they’re getting these numbers.

  27. Branden says:

    the article is misleading to begin with, and consumerist’s alarmist headline sure doesn’t help.

    it says the 160,000,000 cable tuners cost $3,000,000,000/year. that’s only $18.75/year/tuner.
    you can bet your fridge costs MUCH more to run.

  28. The Twilight Clone says:

    I checked my digital cable box with a Killawatt. 15 watts, on or off. FIFTEEN WATTS. What fridge in the world uses just 15W?

    This story is being syndicated around the universe and I doubt even 1% of the readers even bothered to check what the facts are.

  29. consumerfan says:

    Not quite true. From the article, you have to include the HD-DVR and the HD STB to use more energy than the fridge. Each of those alone consumes less than the fridge.

  30. The Porkchop Express says:

    do they make power strips with a remote? most of mine are behind a shelving unit, entertainment center, or a dresser and getting to the switch is a pain sometimes, also I don’t want the spawns to mess around with the power strip.

  31. Costner says:

    I have a kill-a-watt pro that is just begging to get the real numbers on this one. However the numbers will vary heavily depending upon usage of the cable box, so not sure this is a true test.

    My fridge is probably 15+ years old though (came with the house) and I haven’t replaced it yet because I am going to remodel the kitchen and want to do all appliances at that time, so needless to say it would not be energy star compliant.

    However, what I’m really curious about is the PS3 since that thing could serve as a space heater when streaming Netflix for an hour or two. There is no way that thing is even remotely efficient.

  32. FLConsumer says:

    I’ve been saying this for awhile. Back when I had cable, I threw a meter on the cable box. DVR cost me ~$84/year to run, while a digital cable (non-HD) box cost about $65/year to run. Honest, measured numbers. Both boxes were Scientific Atlanta, but I can’t remember the model #s. At the very least, glad to see it reach the news. And I’m VERY glad to be done with cable TV. Netflix + Roku + Internets rulez.

  33. John from Huntersville says:

    I claim that this is bogus. My Scientific Atlanta 8300HD set top box/DVR is rated at 80 Watts.

    If it uses that much Wattage every minute it’s on, it’s consuming slightly more power than a 75 Watt bulb.

    If my simple math is correct –

    80 Watts = .08 kilowatts
    .08 kilowatts for 24 hours = 1.92 kilowatt hours per day.
    1.92 kilowatts for 30 days = 57.6 kilowatt hours per month.

    Cost per kilowatt hour varies, but lets assume a cost of 10 cents per kilowatt hour (in NC, our cost is actually about 7 cents per kilowatt hour).

    57.6 kilowatts at ten cents per kilowatt hour = $5.76 per month.

    Now all that assumes that the set top box/DVR is drawing full power at all times (which is not the case). So the real cost is less than $5.76 per month.

    There’s no way that a refrigerator or air conditioner or clothes dryer costs less to operate than a set top box. I’d like to see the math that contradicts the figures I provided.

  34. MacGyver says:

    USDOE is finally looking at Energy Star for set-top boxes.
    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=ST

  35. Robert Nagel says:

    My box says it draws 40w. At $.13 per kwh this would be about $45.00 a year. Hardly in the league of an A/C unit that will cost over $100 per month in the hot season. Was the writer mathematically illiterate?
    $3,000,000,000 divided by 160,000,000 units equals $18.75 each, in the ball park of my quick calculation. Again, is the writer mathematically illiterate?
    A little effort might be in order.

  36. VaultDweller says:

    On an unrelated note, my cat also sleeps on top of our DVR. So at least we are getting our money’s worth from the “heated cat bed” setting.

  37. tooluser says:

    I like to watch television.

  38. BradenR says:

    When you completely unplug or shut down a power strip, those lazy devices can not remember your settings If the manufacturers weren’t so cheap, they would use that old technology straight from computers which never forget.

  39. BradenR says:

    When you completely unplug or shut down a power strip, those lazy devices can not remember your settings If the manufacturers weren’t so cheap, they would use that old technology straight from computers which never forget.

  40. BradenR says:

    When you completely unplug or shut down a power strip, those lazy devices can not remember your settings If the manufacturers weren’t so cheap, they would use that old technology straight from computers which never forget.

  41. Tansey says:

    Interesting. I just read this article to my husband and said we should test this out. So the next time we pay our power bill (when the billing cycle restarts) we’re going to start flipping the switch on the plug all of our TV stuff is plugged into and see how much money we saved when we get the next bill. I’m actually pretty excited to see how much we save. This is why I love The Consumerist :)

  42. poehitman says:

    The thing that sucks is that my cable box, if you unplug it or cut the power, takes like 10-15 minutes to “boot up”. If you turn it off by pressing the power button, does that shut cut the power usage?