1. Quick Summary
  2. Desktop Computer
  3. Phone Charger Power Strip
  4. Printer
  5. Microwave
  6. Computer Monitor
  7. Invisible Pet Fence
  8. Cable TV Receiver
  9. TV
  10. Conclusion

When you leave an electrical appliance or device plugged in after use, it still draws power. This is called “phantom” or “vampire” power. Unplugging these devices can help reduce your electric bill, electricity bill, and overall energy bills. Here are eight standard devices you can unplug to cut your energy bill.

1. Desktop Computer

Desktop Computer

Many people leave the computer plugged in just in case they need it. Besides being vulnerable to electrical storms, it will also increase your energy usage. Understanding how much power a desktop computer uses when plugged in but not in use can help you manage your electricity consumption better. The yearly cost for a desktop computer plugged in but not used is $4.53.

2. Phone Charger Power Strip

Phone Charger Power Strip

Your phone charger doesn’t use a lot of phantom power when plugged in, but it will cost you. The estimated cost of a plugged-in phone charger is $2.90 per year, which can add up over time and impact your energy savings. Unplugging your phone charger when not in use can help save money on your electricity bill. The same goes with those unused power strips. Often times, we leave the power strip with nothing plugged in during the day or at night and those can quickly eat up some unwanted costs.

3. Printer


If you’re not using an inkjet printer, unplug it to reduce energy costs. It will cost you $4.59 yearly in phantom power. One of the effective energy-saving tips is to unplug the printer when not in use or use a smart outlet to cut off power completely. Most people don’t print very often, and it’s not necessary to keep it plugged in all the time. Or, another energy saving tip is to ensure you have a printer that can go into standby mode.

4. Microwave


The microwave plug isn’t always easy to access. But if you can reach the cord, you might want to unplug it. A microwave costs $1.81 a year when it’s plugged in and idle, which shows how much energy it uses even when not in use. Unplugging the microwave can help save energy.

5. Computer Monitor

Computer Monitor

A computer monitor is just a little behind a desktop computer in terms of phantom power costs. A plugged-in monitor that’s not being used contributes to higher energy costs, amounting to $4.17 annually. Unplugging the monitor when not in use can lead to significant energy savings.

6. Invisible Pet Fence


If your pooch isn’t in the yard, that invisible pet fence is eating up electricity because it’s idle but plugged in, contributing to standby energy load costs. It’s one of the most expensive on the list, costing you $15.11 per year.

7. Cable TV Receiver


Cable costs a lot in more ways than one. Although unplugging this is an awkward thing, you’ll save $22.67 if you cut the phantom power that appliances draw even in standby mode.

8. TV

watching tv

Just like the cable receiver, a TV is difficult to unplug, but it costs you money if you don’t, adding to your electricity bill. Phantom power for a 17-inch TV is $14.51. It only gets worse for the larger TVs.


Some of these plugged-in devices are not only expensive but also fire hazards. Unplugging some basic household items can help save energy and save money by reducing phantom power consumption. Start saving money on your energy bills with some of these energy saving tips.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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