- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)9
- 3 students in custody for violent threat; no details released (12/9/16)15
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)3
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)14
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)34
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Company to start recruiting businesses to Jackson, Cape (12/9/16)15
- 13 venues, 60 sponsors participating in Happy Slapowitz's Toy Bash on Thursday (12/7/16)2
Once upon a time, things that used electricity around the house had "on" and "off" buttons, and "off" meant no electricity was being consumed.
But today's appliances and gadgets aren't always "off" when they're "off." Instead, they are in "standby" mode. This is intended as a convenience. TV viewers want to watch their favorite programs as soon as they push the "on" button.
As pointed out in a story last Sunday, the most common household devices -- computer, TV, DVD player, microwave, telephone and security systems -- use about $80 a year even if they are never turned "on."
Many consumers who enjoy the benefits of modern conveniences are surprised to learn how much electricity is consumed by "off" appliances. Even some toasters these days are sucking energy unless they are unplugged. So is $80 a year -- or whatever amount the appliances in your house are costing -- worth it? For most of us, yes. We like having appliances that are ready to perform whenever we want them to. But with power companies like AmerenUE and the Jackson municipal power company raising rates, more consumers might start paying more attention to the hidden use of electricity.
And appliance makers might want to consider adding another button to the array of knobs on new gizmos: the "really off" button.