Ghouls and goblins aren’t the only thing California residents have to worry about this Halloween. There’s another threat lurking in nearly every household: you can’t see or feel it, but it drains your hard-earned cash without you even realizing. This threat is the “energy vampire” – and it accounts for nearly 10% of all energy use in California homes.
“Energy vampires” (or standby power) is a term used for any electronic we leave plugged in that slowly sucks energy from our homes. These can be video game consoles, phone chargers, guitar amps, laptops, printers and more. What’s worse, the average U.S. household spends about $130 per year to power devices while they appear to be off.
So how can households reclaim some of these costs? Here are a few tricks and tips:
- Unplug your devices. Perhaps the most obvious thing you can do to battle energy vampires is to unplug devices when they are not in use. Make it a habit to unplug your charger when your phone is fully charged, or your video game console, when you’ve finished playing. These small, simple behavior changes add up in energy savings – and in dollars and cents.
- Enable ENERGY STAR power management settings. ENERGY STAR qualified computers and monitors offer a variety of power settings to help you monitor your energy use. By enabling these settings, you can have your devices go into power save mode when they are not actively in use.
- Use Advanced Power Strips (APS). Replacing your conventional power strips with advanced power strips can help reduce electricity waste when devices are idle – without your having to change the way you normally use your electronics. Advanced Power Strips work by preventing electronics from drawing power when they are off or not being used.