In the most recent Sierra Club magazine was an info graphic that caught my attention: is was listing the refrigerator as the most energy consuming appliance of the american household. It shows that just the fridge alone consumes more energy than an average citizen of Ghana!
From the article:
Even as more U.S. appliances meet Energy Star standards, America is still an energy glutton compared with much of the world. That router that you never bother to turn off, for instance, uses more kilowatt-hours per year than does the average Tanzanian. Inspired by the Center for Global Development, we contrast the annual energy consumption of various appliances with the per capita usage of five energy-poor nations.
The problem is that even if these items become more efficient we all add more and more gadgets every year that are permanently plugged in. This results in an ever growing energy demand. But there is something you can do: use a renewable energy source to offset your energy demand. All five of those items can be pulled off grid with a very small solar system: One-Fridge-off-the-Grid offers an ideal solution, read about the vision of this project.