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Energy Vampires: Know What’s at Stake!
Jan 06, 2017

Even when certain appliances are off, they're using energy in “standby” mode. These “vampire" appliances can account for up to 5% or more of total energy usage in the home. Over the course of a year, according to the Department of Energy, vampire appliances use around 52 billion kWh, or the complete output of 26 average-size power plants.1

Identifying Energy Vampires

Energy vampires commonly have one or more of the following features:

  • An external power supply – often a power cord in two parts, with a supplemental battery in the middle1
  • A remote control that operates by sending light or radio frequency signals to the device1
  • A continuous display such as an LED numerical screen, showing the time or channel1
  • Chargeable batteries or battery packs1

The most common energy vampires (and the most insidious) include:

  • Computers (and all computer related equipment, such as modems, routers, external hard drives, printers, etc.)1  
  • Large or flat screen televisions with LED, LCD or rear projection, often known as “instant start” TVs in comparison with older models which may take a minute or two to “warm up”. The bigger the screen, the bigger the drain.1
  • Surround sound systems that hook up either by wired connection or wirelessly1
  • Cable or satellite boxes, or gaming systems such as X-Box, Wii, or PlayStation1
  • Household appliances with an LED clock display (microwaves, coffeemakers, digital ovens, DVD players, etc.)1

Stopping Energy Vampires

While garlic won’t help keep these vampires away, you can control and mitigate the power loss.

  • Simply unplugging many appliances when not in use can save plenty of energy; think gaming systems and cell phone or tablet chargers.1
  • Multiple items plugged into a power strip can be shut off with the flick of a switch at bedtime (try this for your computer desk; you can save energy all night simply by shutting down completely when you call it a day.)1
  • Entertainment systems and related boxes and equipment (before you go to sleep, turn everything not in use off. You can turn them on again when you need them.)1

Energy vampires may enter your home, but they have to behave. Take control today!



Ashley Leach

Ashley Leach is a freelance writer and digital content marketer with a background in journalism, digital reporting, and marketing for numerous industries. She's found her perfect fit at North American Power in writing about home maintenance and repairs, energy efficiency, and smart home technology.