Leaving devices plugged in while not in use costs hundreds per year

(WJLA) - Leaving your electronics and appliances plugged in while you're not using them may seem harmless, but what you might not know is that they're sucking power from your house and money from your wallet.

In fact, experts say that people are likely spending more than $100 per year to power electronics that are off or not being used.

The biggest energy suck in your home, the Department of Energy says, is your cable box. When left plugged in while you're not watching television, they estimate that you're paying $44 per year just to keep it powered.

That computer you keep idling throughout the day isn't cheap either - leaving that plugged in can cost you about $21 per year.

Other major culprits include laptop computers, televisions, modems, routers, cell phones and DVD players.

Dominion Power officials say you can mitigate the costs by using a power strip. That makes it easier to shut off the power to devices without unplugging.

"We know that it's wasteful," Dominion manager Deborah Johnson said. "If you are leaving it on and you don't need it, it's just pennies adding up to dollars given away fro no reason at all."