Unit 4: Energy Through Our Lives-Part II

Section G. Leaking Electricity

Are your appliances leaking electricity? Some of you might not be familiar with what this means. Not only do we have more small- and medium-sized appliances than ever before, but many of these never really stop using electricity. For example, if the television has a remote, then part of the TV is always on, waiting for a signal from the remote. If there is a clock on the microwave then the microwave is always using some electricity. Experts call this usage "standby consumption" or "leaking electricity" because people are often not aware that the appliance is using electricity. 

A single appliance usually leaks only a small amount of electricity each hour (see Leaking Watts Chart below). Since these appliances leak electricity whenevery they are not turned on, and since people have a lot of these appliances, the amount of leaking electricity is significant. The average household spends about $40 a year on leaking electricity. The federal government works with appliance manufacturers to reduce the amount of electricity that leaks out of new appliances.

Leaking Watts Chart
Standby Consumption of Some Residential Appliances
Type of ApplianceMinimum (Watts)Average (Watts)Maximum (Watts)
Air Conditioner0.00.00.0
Alarm Clock0.71.32.0
Answering Machine1.83.05.2
Answering Machine/ Cordless Phone2.52.83.1
ATX PC1.32.12.8
Baby Monitor0.71.21.6
Battery Charger0.21.43.2
Boom Box0.72.27.7
Cable Box4.811.618.0
Cassette Deck0.02.86.6
CD Player0.03.18.0
Clock Radio0.91.73.2
Cordless Phone1.12.75.0
DVD Player1.64.37.1
Garage Door Opener3.53.84.0
Internet Appliance7.57.57.5
Linear Power Supply0.31.33.2
Macintosh PC0.02.03.5
Microwave Oven1.63.26.0
Mini Disc4.54.85.1
Mini Audio System1.39.328.6
Modem (external)
Phone/Fax/Copier Combo3.34.76.5
Power PC1.31.51.6
Power Speaker0.01.63.1
Rice Cooker1.52.02.5
Security System15.018.321.5
TV/VCR Combo2.59.819.5
Battery-Powered Vacuum Cleaner1.72.12.6
Video Game0.01.12.0




Go back to Section F: Watts, Volts, and Amps, Oh My!