Digtal radios, wi-fi radios and set-top decoders use micro-controllers running an operating system. If you shut down the power completely, they would have to "boot-up" when you turned them on - takes a few seconds. So you lose the "instant on" feature. The MCU inside is still alive and running its operating system when "off" - only the output stage (audio or video) goes into "mute".
I totally agree with your assesment. I do not know, nor do I really care what all of those little glowing lights aroound the house cost. But an aircondtioner that did not make my meter spin like a pin wheel would be very welcome. We are isulated coming out our ears, do not keep the thermostat too cool (except in the winter when we have to wear sweaters and watch TV while under blankets) but I draw the line at the Chrismas display of LEDs around the house.
Electronic devices with remote controls are always on, drawing power. I use a power strip to supply power when needed ( for electronics that don't have to reprogram themselves each time they lose power). I replaced an old crt tv with an lcd tv that paid for itself. I'll fill my gas tank to half, makes the vehicle fifty pounds lighter. I save my shower water in winter until it cools to room temperature. I use 9w bulbs for security night lights. I use a fan to draw heat off the oil burner exhaust. I lowered the thermostat to 66F. So the electric co. raised the rates and the oil supplier is asking six times the price for a gallon of heating oil vs ten years ago.
If you put any value on your time, the pay-back on home energy audits is nearly non-existent. Even at full power, this radio only costs $5 a year to operate. If you were to go through the trouble of unplugging it every time you wanted to hear some music, you would never save more than $5 a year and probably get annoyed at having to plug it in all the time. And if a better, more efficient model were offered at a premium price, how likely would you be to pay an extra $10-$20?
Energy audits and efficiency can be VERY worthwhile and productive, but efforts like this just remind me to focus on the big stuff: loads with long run-times and/or high power needs. In a home environment these would be things like lighting, air conditioning, etc.
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