Many modern appliances remain partially on when they appear to be turned off. Anything that can be powered from a remote control must remain partially on to receive the “on” signal from the remote.
- Anything with a clock–VCRs, coffee makers, microwave ovens–also use a small amount of power all thetime. And anything that uses a “power cube” in the AC socket, such as answering machines and electric toothbrushes, use very tiny amounts of power, maybe only a watt or two, but they make the inverter stay turned on and running 24 hours per day.
- The solution for clocks is battery power. A wall mounted clock runs for nearly a year on a single AA rechargeable battery. Look for good quality battery powered alarm and other clocks. Clocks on house current are ridiculously wasteful.
- Watch out for those small cube-shaped transformers that plug into the wall outlet to power a lower voltage appliance. These villainous wastrels usually run horrible 60 percent to 80 percent inefficiency (which means that for every dime’s worth of electricity consumed, they throw away six or eight cents worth). We recommend that power cubes be kept on plug strips or switchable outlets that can be switched off when not in use. Electronic toothpbrushes, for example, use very little power themselves, but their charging systems are grossly inefficient. If it has a power cube put it on a switchable outlet that can be switched off when not in use.