For the past 3 months I have been unplugging our cable box every night because I read that cable boxes can use as much power as a fridge. I have to admit that I was skeptical that ours uses that much since we don't have a PVR or HD box or anything like that. But I wanted to give it a try just in case our cable box was a energy sucking beast.
Turns out it isn't.
I looked at our hydro bills for the past 3 years and here are the results.
Nov 1 - Dec 17 2009: 653.34 kWh (hello mat leave)
Nov 1 - Dec 16 2010: 598.04 kWh
Nov 1 - Dec 16 2011: 561.48 kWh
The difference between 2010 and 2011 (similar years vs 2009 when I was home on mat leave) is 36.56 kWh. We have billing that is based on Off Peak, Mid Peak and On Peak hours so having the cable box unplugged from say 10PM - 5PM would mean we were hitting the Off Peak and On Peak hours. Because of this I used the Mid Peak cost to calculate how much we saved by unplugging the cable box for 2 months.
That doesn't include the delivery charge, regulatory charges, debt retirement charges or tax so when you add that on it is a whopping $6.64. Which is 5.5% of our total bill. I'll be honest...it isn't worth it. It was easy unplugging it but plugging it back in and having to wait for it to start back up and get its signal was a huge pain. It would take a good 15 minutes to be back to normal. And when you have a toddler those 15 minutes are like 15 years.
If anyone has a PVR I would love to see you do a challenge similar to this and see what results you get.
Tonight our cable box will remain plugged in and Joe is about a kajillion times happier because of it. With these results would you keep unplugging your box each night?
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