8/6/21 Electric vampires do exist, and chances are that you have multiple ones at your residence These vampires are power cables that suck up electricity even when your appliances are turned off but are still plugged in. This “vampire electricity” comes from power cords to phone chargers, laptops, printers, modems, stereos, TVs, DVRs, cable boxes, microwaves, etc., that are always plugged in to a wall socket and continually consume energy, even if the appliance is not turned on. These appliances remain in standby mode, continually drawing energy waiting for you to click “On” so they can start up immediately. They also consume energy to perform other tasks in the background, such as making updates, connecting to remote networks and gathering data. A whole house of appliances constantly draining vampire energy can contribute as much as 20% to your electric bill. That’s $165 per year for the average household, and $19 billion across the U.S., according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
One way to put a stake in vampire energy usage is using a power strip (with a surge protector), which turns off all power flowing to devices. Plug multiple devices into a power strip when appliances are in use, then turn them all off at once when not in use. Other ways to ward off energy vampires is to buy Energy Star labeled appliances, activate the energy-saving mode of appliances to put it to sleep when not in use, unplug phones and tablets once they are fully charged rather than leaving them charging overnight, and unplug seldom used appliances like the washing machine or the household furnace during summer or air conditioner during winter when not in use.