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11. Energy: Plugged-in appliances
Energy: Plugged-in appliances
Myth: I'll save energy if I keep my appliances turned off.

Reality: Yes, but not as much as you think.

Even if you're not using them, your DVR player, fax machine, a plugged-in but unhooked-up phone charger, and other energy vampires in the home keep sucking power.

The gadgets stand ready to record a TV show or receive a document, and that takes power. It seems negligible, but over the long haul it adds up. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 5% to 10% of residential electricity use can be attributed to standby power. -- E.F.

NEXT: Energy: Jet fuel
Last updated March 26 2010: 6:04 PM ET
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