Is Your Energy Bill Scary? Slay Energy Vampires

October 12, 2010, 8:59 am

This Halloween, watch out for energy vampires lurking the shadows of your home. Energy vampires continuously suck energy from electrical outlets and unnecessarily waste energy. These vampires won’t drain your blood; they'll drain your pockets! Energy vampires cost Americans almost $10 billion a year, and account for almost 11 percent of all U.S. energy use!

Energy vampires are the electronics, adapters, and appliances with fangs in your outlet, sucking power even when apparently not in use or "off." For example, a TV always uses a little power so it can always receive the "on" signal from the remote control. Adapters, too, use power even when not plugged into their device.

Power adapters and phone chargers are easy vampires to spot, and also easy to slay. Every energy vampire you vanquish saves you money, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and helps in the fight against climate change.

According to the EPA, the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices while they are off (or in standby mode). On a national basis, this standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual U.S. electricity consumption and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.

This October, follow these simple steps to help protect your home and office from energy vampires:

  • Unplug power adapters or battery chargers when equipment is fully charged or disconnected from the charger.
  • Use a power strip that can be switched off when electronics and appliances are not in use.
  • Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing products.

Image source: Seattle.gov.