As Halloween approaches, hunt for the undead that haunt your house year round.
They’re the so-called energy vampires that are draining your energy and money.
Your electronics and appliances, like your TV and computer, are sucking up electricity even when they’re turned off but still plugged in.
These vampires are often responsible for adding 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill, says the U.S. Department of Energy. They’re costing you real money, draining about $100-200 a year from your checkbook. One appliance that constantly consumes 1 watt of electricity results in about $1 in annual costs based on research by the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The National Resources Defense Council looked at the real-life toll that these vampires extract. Last year, they studied the smart-meter data from 70,000 California homes. The “always-on” electricity consumption was 164 watts, or about 1,300 kilowatt-hours annually, per home. This represented 23 percent of yearly electricity consumption, on average, across the homes in the study.
Take simple steps to drive a stake through the heart of these vampires, including:
- Unplug your electronics: Consider unplugging your electronics if you’re not using them.
- Use power strips: You can turn off multiple electronics at once with just one switch. Better yet, purchase a smart power strip to turn electronics off automatically.
- Put your devices to sleep when stepping away for a while: Put your computer or video game into sleep mode or turn it off if you have to step away for a while. This alone can save more than $100 a year in many cases.
- Buy ENERGY STAR®-labeled electronics: These electronics and appliances uses less power in general, including when turned off, than other comparable devices.
Get more power—and money—saving tips at Energy Action Fairfax.