Want to know something downright spooky?
Right now, energy vampires could be costing you hundreds of dollars in unused energy costs. These ghostly appliances are silently driving up your electricity bill by over 10%, and leaving you paying a frightening amount.
What’s an energy vampire?
An energy vampire is an appliance that keeps consuming energy, even when it’s not on and running. These are appliances that are plugged in, kept on, but not in use.
While they don’t draw blood, have fangs, or typically wear a cape, these vampires are costing you monthly. It’s estimated that there are 30-50 energy vampires lurking in the typical home.
Here are The Four Most Prominent Examples of Energy Vampires
The Cable Box
The cable box and DVR are two of the most well known energy vampires. In fact, cable boxes are costing over 50 million US residents over $35 per year. All told, that comes to a bill of nearly $2 billion dollars wasted on unused energy.
The main reason is that to record shows, these boxes are always on, still operating at nearly full capacity, but without providing any benefit. It’s like leaving the lights on in a totally empty house.
The second most prominent energy vampire is the stereo. Most stereos remain plugged in, consuming energy, and are only in operation for a few hours a month. In fact, some stereos can be costing listeners over $50 per year- now that’s scary!
Video Game Consoles
Like DVRs and cable boxes, most video game consoles, like Playstation, XBOX, and Nintendo Wii are always plugged in, making turning the on quick and convenient. However, these consoles are still slurping power, even while sleeping.
Coffee Makers & Toaster
Coffee makers and toasters are only in operation for a few minutes each morning, but are always plugged in. Depending on the year, brand and model- coffee makers can be costing $15 per year in electricity costs. When considering the toaster, grinder, and other small kitchen appliances, these vampires get costly quickly.
What Can I do to Curb Energy Vampires?
Garlic alone won’t ward off these expensive energy suckers. However, there is something you can do to prevent energy vampires from eating your energy bill alive.
The most effective solution is to simply plug in the appliances before using, and unplug after use. However, that’s time consuming and inconvenient. Here’s three ideas to save energy and money by blocking energy vampires:
Switch to Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips are time controlled power strips that can help cut energy consumption during hours of little use. For example, by setting these strips to turn off at 11:30 and turn back on at 8:00, you can reduce unnecessary electricity consumption- saving energy and money. Additionally, these can be set to reflect your routine, making life more convenient.
Lowes, Amazon, and the Home Depot all carry smart power strips that cost between $15 and $50, depending on size and features.
Smart plugs are a relatively new appliance that falls into the “Internet of Things” category. These are wifi-enabled outlets that talk with your smartphone, thermostat, or other connected device to automatically turn power on or off to a particular outlet.
That enables you to automatically turn off the front hall light at 10:30, or turn on the outlet that the coffee maker is plugged into on at 6:45. These are new, and slightly more expensive, but add substantial benefit and could pay for themselves in energy savings.
Microsoft carries smartplugs for just under $50.00.
Upgrade To Energy Star Appliances
The third way to save on energy vampires is to upgrade to “vampire proof” appliances, approved by the government, and given the “Energy Star seal of approval”. These appliances range from TVs to refrigerators to toasters.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a new appliance, look for the Energy Star to signify substantial energy saving potential. They also have a great website at energystar.gov.