toaster plugged into a wall socket
Photo: David Freund
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Myth: If it plugs in, it's an energy vampire when it's off

Reality: A lot of people ask us if their toasters and lamps are sucking up ­energy when they're turned off. The answer: Unless it has a power adapter, indicator light, standby function, or clock, it's not burning energy. The worst vampire by far? Your cable box, which uses half the juice of an Energy Star fridge, even when you're not watching HBO. So plug that sucker into a power strip and switch it off when you're away.
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