These Small Devices Are Adding 10% to Your Winter Power Bill

Provided by Geonode

As temperatures continue to drop and snowflakes start falling, the welcoming warmth of our homes invites us to find comfort indoors. But while we’re enjoying cozy evenings nestled by the fireplace, our utility bills are steadily increasing.

Even worse, most of us are blissfully unaware that a significant portion of this surge in power consumption can be attributed to seemingly harmless household devices. Believe it or not, certain small winter appliances are suspected of draining up to 10% of your household power.

The Sneaky Winter Gadgets

Surprising as it may be, these devices collectively can contribute to a shocking 10% of your household power consumption, thereby inflating your energy bills.

“These small devices can yield big consequences,” warns Josh Gordon from Geonode.

They’re small, but they pack a considerable punch in terms of energy consumption:

  1. Power strips: Power strips, with our devices continuously plugged into them, are notorious for quietly consuming energy, even when the devices themselves aren’t in use. A recent study has found that idle current constitutes up to 10% of an average household’s electricity use.
  2. Electric mug warmers: Winter months mean hot drinks galore, especially for coffee lovers. Unfortunately, these devices consume power as they maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day for your drink. As such, even when you’re not actively sipping your drink, the warmer continues to use electricity to keep the temperature steady.
  3. Space heaters: This device provides warmth in specific areas meaningfully, reducing central heating usage. However, the thermostat and control circuits continue to consume power even when they’re not actively heating.
  4. Pet water fountains: Pet owners often use these devices to keep their pet’s water from freezing or attract their pet’s attention to drink. But they can end up running 24/7, consuming an unnecessary amount of power.
  5. Heating pads: Most heating pads use resistive wire or heating elements that draw power to produce heat. Even if the pad isn’t actively being used for comfort or health reasons, it will still consume electricity if it’s turned on and the heating elements are active.

Saving Power: Measures to Minimize Consumption

Surprisingly, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while appliances are turned off. It’s shocking data on wasted energy, and it’s time to change our habits!

With Geonode‘s expert advice, you won’t have to compromise on your comfort while saving power. Here are some practical ways to minimize consumption:

  1. Unplug or switch off: When not in use, don’t let your appliances sit idle on standby mode, especially for power strips and heating pads. Unplug them, or better yet, switch them off. It can save up to 10% of your energy costs. Most importantly, this simple act can lessen 44 million metric tons of CO2 pollution.
  2. Regular maintenance: Keep your appliances running optimally by conducting regular maintenance. A clogged filter in a space heater, for example, can make the device work harder, thus consuming more power.
  3. Use timers: If your device doesn’t have a built-in timer, using an external timer can help ensure your devices are only powered on when needed, reducing unnecessary usage.
  4. Smart usage: Use space heaters to heat the room you’re in, keeping the rest of the house cooler. Similarly, use other devices wisely.
  5. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate: By improving your home’s insulation, your need for space heaters and other warming devices can substantially diminish.

Putting Your Savings Into Perspective

It’s easy to think, ‘It’s just a few watts. How much difference can it make?’ To put it in perspective, The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that by addressing these types of wasteful power usage, the average household can save up to USD $100 to as much as $200 per year. Now that’s savings worth considering!

As Josh Gordon from Geonode reassures, “Winter need not mean high energy bills.”

By recognizing these small devices’ impact and taking steps to regulate their consumption, we can look forward to a warm, cozy, and energy-efficient winter.

As a final thought, it’s worth noting that it’s not just about saving on energy bills; it’s also a small but significant contribution towards conserving our planet’s resources. The perfect win-win could be just a switch away. Here’s to a warm, cozy, and energy-efficient winter season!

Related Reading

12 Tips to Cut Heating Bills

How Canadians Can Stay Connected in Storm Season

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Blake Warner

Always forget the coffee warmer and leave it on. I don’t know why it doesn’t have an auto shut off. My power bill can use all of the help it can get!


I’ve heard that about all the little lights on things. In this economy I’m happy to save a couple of dollars here & there. I’ll give your power tips a try too.