Pull the Plug on Energy Vampires

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your carved pumpkins, buy candy for the trick-or-treaters and finalize any last-minute costumes. As you finish readying your home for the holiday, did you know you may be forgetting something more spooky than the witches and werewolves that will ring your doorbell?

This year, don’t forget to take care of the energy vampires lurking unsuspectingly under your roof.

Energy VampiresEnergy vampires are devices, such as TVs, laptops, cellphones, chargers and coffee makers, that use electricity even while they’re turned off or in standby mode. Together, these appliances and gadgets can account for up to 20 percent of your electric bill – potentially costing you hundreds of dollars each year.

So, how do you slay these silent villains before they suck you dry? Try the following energy-saving tricks to control your energy vampires and treat yourself to improved energy savings.

  • Identify your energy vampires by turning off your lights at night. Standby lights on electronics, such as TVs, cable boxes, DVRs and video game consoles are telling signs that power is slowly being drained even though the product isn’t in use.
  • Simply unplug these energy-consuming vampires when not in use.
  • Plug “wall warts” (the cord with the large square-shaped plugs) and “bricks” (power cords that have boxes in the middle of them) into power strips, and turn off the strip when not needed. Using “smart” power strips makes it even easier – these  automatically cut off power when devices are not in use.
  • Look for the Energy Star® label when purchasing new appliances. They can use up to half as much energy as other appliances.
  • Avoid buying products that include unnecessary “bells and whistles.” Some of these extra features – like an upgraded refrigerator or device with features that will rarely be used – can waste energy.

Want to see how much these energy vampires could be costing you? Use Duke Energy’s Energy Slayer Calculator to easily identify the unknown power suckers in your home.