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It’s Not your Imagination: These Vampires Are Real

At GVEC, we can’t stop thinking about vampires—but not the bloodsucking kind! We’re talking about energy vampires! They lurk in virtually every room of your home, with glowing eyes of red or green that never blink and never stop feeding, and they are the bane of energy efficiency!

Energy vampires are devices and gadgets that continue sucking electricity even when powered “off.” Devices of this type typically include electronics and appliances that are always plugged in and go into “standby” when you hit the off switch. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this needless energy drain costs households between $100 and $200 annually. Most homes can save up to 10 percent on monthly energy bills by taking greater control of these pesky energy users!

Identify Them!

The first step in staking out your energy vampires is identifying them. Devices that typically continue using power even when switched off include coffee makers, DVD players and streaming devices, smartphone and laptop chargers, and HDTVs. Any device with a power light that stays on and/or switches colors when you power it off is probably an energy vampire. Devices with a charger, remote control or a clock are probably energy suckers, too.

Strip Them of Their Power!

One suggestion for striking back against energy vampires is to simply unplug devices you don’t use frequently. Another is to plug multiple vampires into a single power strip or surge protector. This allows you to turn off clusters of devices all at once. Finally, when you shop for gadgets, look for those certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program. Such devices are certified to meet a level of energy efficiency established by the EPA. You should also check the product label for mention of power usage in standby; look for devices with lower standby settings.

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