Stop Vampire Appliances from stealing your energy budget

October 29, 2018 | Posted in Tips & Ways to Save

Post originally published October 29, 2015. Updated October 29, 2018.

As Energy Awareness Month comes to a close, we’re featuring some scarily effective low or no-cost tips to save energy at home.

Identify Vampire Appliances

Vampire appliances are electronic devices that drain electricity even when they are turned off. This standby power or “phantom load” can add up quickly when you consider the average American household has 40 products continuously drawing power.1

The scary facts:

  • Consumer electronics are responsible for approximately 10% of household electricity use.
  • 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while products are turned off.
  • This phantom load can add up to $100 per year on your electricity bill.
  • It’s estimated that standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kWh of annual electricity consumption in the U.S., which equals $11 billion in annual energy costs!

Top 10 Vampire Appliances

Top 10 vampire appliances: flat screen tvs, home computers, video game consoles, digital video recorders, cable boxes, cable modems, laser printers, dvd players, cell phone tablet chargers, small kitchen appliances

Tips to Save

Look for the signs of an energy vampire: an external power supply, remote control, continuous display or battery charging capabilities. Don’t be scared, once you know you have a vampire on your hands, you have several options to drive a stake through wasted energy and high bills:

  • Unplug devices. If you only use your toaster once every morning, unplug it to avoid drawing extra power. Use this simple strategy for all electronics and chargers you don’t use often to avoid drawing excess energy.
  • Use power strips. Plug home electronics, such as televisions, game consoles, cable boxes and DVD players into power strips to make turning them off as easy as flipping a switch. Remember that a digital video recorder will not record scheduled programs if it’s not plugged in, so you may want to plug this into a separate power strip. Game consoles in particular can suck excess energy if left on continuously. Energy use can drop from 1,000 kWh per year to just 110 by simply turning off the device when not in use.Check out deals on advanced power strips available on DP&L Marketplace, and get a $10 instant rebate!
  • Use automatic power settings. A common energy myth is that screen savers reduce energy used by computer monitors – this is not true. Instead of using a screen saver, adjust your computer’s power settings to automatically switch to sleep mode. Manually turn off your monitor when you’re away from your computer for 20 minutes or more. Many televisions and game consoles have idle and sleep settings as well. Be sure to configure these settings in case you forget to flip the switch on your power strip.
  • Shop ENERGY STAR. Appliances must meet strict standards, including minimizing the amount of standby power used, in order to earn the ENERGY STAR. Search for ENERGY STAR rated products here.

Learn more about standby power and energy-saving tips for electronics on our website.

What are your tips to slash wasted energy? Share in the comments below!

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