General Tips

Unplug electronic devices when they’re not in use. Some electronics, such as televisions, use up to 10 watts of energy when they’re off and still plugged in.

Unplug devices that use standby power, such as DVD players, video games, printers, scanners and set-top cable boxes.

Some video game consoles, when left on continuously, can use the same amount of energy in a year as two new refrigerators.

Use a power strip to plug in electronics.

Purchase ENERGY STAR® home electronics. An ENERGY STAR® television uses 30 percent less power than other models.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR® televisions.

LCD televisions consume less power than plasma or rear-projection models.

When watching high-definition DVDs, use a standalone DVD or Blu-Ray player instead of a video game console, which uses five times the power.

Reduce phantom electric usage.


Shut down your computer if you’re going to be away 2 hours or more.

Plug your computer and peripherals into a power strip and shut them off using its on/off switch.

Don’t use screen savers. They use more energy. Plus, the newer LCD monitors no longer need them.

If you’re buying a new computer…

Consider a laptop. Laptops use about 90% less energy than a desktop.

Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified computers, which must meet efficiency guidelines in three operating modes: active, standby, and sleep. They also have energy efficient power supplies.

Purchase combination peripheral equipment, such as a combined printer/scanner, which uses one plug instead of two.

Buy a flat screen monitor. It uses less energy and is easier on the eyes.

If you’re keeping your computer…

Increase the RAM. RAM is inexpensive and relatively easy to install.

Replace the hard drive. Newer hard drives allow for faster data access – a requirement for newer operating systems.

Replace the video card. A new card increases the performance of graphic operations.