We have all heard of "Phantom Power". Anything that is plugged in to an electrical socket draws power, whether the item is in use or not.
I never gave this much thought. We tend not to leave random plugs in the wall, but lamps are plugged in whether they are in use or not- same with Tim's video game consoles, the fan in the bedroom that has been run twice, ever, etc.
Recently I was reading on weusecoupons.com about a man who's family had a power bill of $120. They were doing things we are doing- turning lights off when you leave a room, being reasonable about the temperature in the house, etc. Still their bill climbed higher and higher (sound familiar?). Out of sheer frustration, his wife told him they were going to unplug anything that wasn't in use. Items like the TV, dvd player, video games, etc were going on surge protectors that they could turn off easily. The Wii has a light that changes colors depending on if it is "on" or "off". When you flick the surge protector off, the light goes out! Voila, no longer drawing power!
In the thread, dozens of other people mentioned saving as little as $20 and as much as $100 by unplugging items that aren't in use.
I am definitely going to give this a try. Who couldn't use an extra $20 a month? If we are one of the lucky ones and can get our bill down even lower, so much the better! It's going to take some time to remember to unplug things- for instance, I know for a fact my hair dryer is still plugged in at home even as I type this. Oops.