Hidden Cost of DVRs

Reader Mike writes in with a tip we just don’t repeat enough. A lot of newer appliances draw as much, or slightly less, power when “off” than when “on.” In order to really, truly save electricity you need to plug your DVR/TV/Computer/Whatever in to a power strip and shut the power strip off.

How much does this really matter? Check out Mike’s calculations:

    50W for 24 hours means 1.2 kWh per day, or 438 kWh per year.

    Cost to me (at 6.8 cents per kWh):
    $29.78 per year, or
    $2.48 per month

    Cost to the environment* (per year):
    356 pounds of coal burned, releasing:
    2.5 pounds of sulfur dioxide,
    2.55 pounds of nitrogen oxides,
    926 pounds of carbon dioxide

Multiply that by however many thousands of users there are, and it’s quite a bit of energy wasted.

Mike is wondering if other units draw similar amounts, and he’s asking for your help. If you have a Kill-a-watt meter, or are an electrician (Hi, Dad!) with a professional meter, please let us know how much power your DVR/Cable Box is sucking while “off.” The results might surprise you. After you’re done being shocked by that number, test out your cell phone charger…while the phone isn’t plugged in. —MEGHANN MARCO