According to a recent NY Times article(1), consumers in the United States collectively spend $1 billion a year to power electronic devices that have been turned off. The problem is that most televisions, video players and other gizmos never fully power down. Instead they remain in standby mode when not in use, quietly feeding from the wall socket and using as much as 1,000 kilowatt hours a year per household. A big screen television and cable box, for example, can draw up to 30 watts when turned off. Other vampiric devices include chargers for cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players, answering machines, cordless phones, DSL and cable modems, and anything that uses a remote control. Read more here(2).
Graphic: Mary Ann Smith