From the US department of Energy:
Most of us have heard about phantom loads, vampire power, and wall warts, but what does it actually mean to us? Money. Lots of money. Adding up to more than $3 billion in annual energy costs for the U.S. Through the use of power strips, daylight, line drying, and an overall awareness of energy consumption we have cut our energy use from 1,386 kw in August of 2007 to 693 kw this August. Half! Holy crap! $138 down to $88 and the price of energy has gone up two cents per kwh.
"Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These "phantom" loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance."
It took some time for the family to adjust having to flip on the power strip before the remote for the tv would work. Placing the strips in easy to access areas has helped mute the complaining. I still hear some grumbling from Hubby, but a quip "half" usually silences him, too.
We moved into this house in May of 2007. Comparing last year's electric bills to corresponding months this year, our energy consumption for 2007 May through August was 4,696 kw - May through August 2008 was 3,072 kw. Over four months we reduced our energy consumption by 1,624 kw and saved $104.11! Indeed, stripping is a good way to make money.