Appliances and Energy Vampires

Appliances and electronics are another major front in the fight to save energy! Learn how simple actions like unplugging idle appliances and buying Energy Star certified electronics can make a huge impact on your energy bill!         


What is Vampire Energy?

 Did you know that appliances and electronics still consume energy when turned off? They will still draw power if they are plugged into a socket. This effect is called standby power or vampire energy. Individual products draw relatively small amounts of power but the added effect of a house full of plugged in electronics becomes very expensive. It can account for up to 5%- 10% of your electric bill! Signs that products consume stand by power include having an external power supply, remote control, continuous or electronic displays, or the ability to charge batteries.


What are the best energy vampire weapons?

You are! To eliminate stand-by mode unplug appliances you don’t use regularly. Because this can be inconvenient, we recommend you get a power strip or smart strip.

Power strips are a great way to eliminate vampire energy from devices you use regularly. These strips allow you to plug multiple appliances into one socket and can conveniently cut power to them by pushing a button. Therefore, there is no need to constantly unplug electronics as long as you remember to turn of the power strip.

Smart power strips increase convenience by providing sensors that detect when appliances go to standby mode. Smart Strips contain a master socket that cuts power to other outlets when its appliance is turned off. There are also a few plugs with constant power, so you don’t have to reset certain devices like cable boxes.

Both varieties of power strips can be bought at most major retailers and online. For more information choosing the right power strip for you visit the US Department of Energy’s Website. You may also receive free power strips or smart strips through utilities and other non-profit programs.


How do I choose energy efficient appliances?

Looking for energy efficient products but don’t know where to start? Then keep an eye out for the Energy Star Label! This label identifies products that use less energy than their competitors while still providing the same service. Products with the energy star label may cost slightly more than their counterparts but cost less to use. Energy star labeled products consume 30%-50% less energy resulting in significant savings on your energy bill!  Explore the Energy Star website to learn more about this program.