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Alarm Clock Power Consumption

Alarm clocks and clock radios comprise one type of electronic item that clearly uses electricity whenever it is plugged in. But how much power consumption do they actually cause?

We tested several alarm clock models using a wattage meter. An Electro Brand unit from the '90s consumes four watts with the radio on, slightly less otherwise. An '80s Weston model uses 3W regardless of whether the radio is running or not. A General Electric from the 1980s takes 3W, except when the radio is at very high volume (3.5W). An old Seville from the 1970s uses 4W regardless of the function selected.

Overall, most models use minimally more power with the radio on. Power consumption differs little from one unit to another. It's worth unplugging them if you will be away for several days.