Unplugging unused appliances or electronic devices in the off mode is an easy way to cut down on your home’s energy consumption and reduce your energy bill. These devices are called “energy” or “power vampires” because they consume energy from electrical outlets even when they are not being used or are in the off mode. Although these devices appear to be off, they continue to draw electricity from outlets to keep their circuits instantly ready for the next time they are turned on.
In general, any device that has a power adapter or “power brick,” or feels warm after it was been switched off for a while, is an energy vampire, including TVs, DVD players and VCRs, cable modems and rechargeable battery chargers for phones, laptops, music players and digital cameras. Individual appliances and devices only consume a few watts when not in use, but throughout a day and over an entire year, a few watts can add up to almost 20% of a home’s power use. Unplugging these electronics or using an inexpensive power strip that can turn off multiple devices when not in use can significantly reduce your energy bill by $50 to $ 200 per year.
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To see if your appliance or electronic device is considered an energy vampire with low energy use in standby mode, check with the U.S. Department of Energy
Did you know that all the energy vampires in a single home can emit almost 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere each year?
On average, a single household has about 25 energy
vampires consuming about 7 watts each year. These 7 watts of energy consumed translate to about 80 pounds of carbon dioxide
for each device, which means your house could be emitting almost 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year from appliances you
aren’t even using!
SOURCES : 1. Stoyke, Godo. The Carbon Buster’s Home Energy Handbook, p. 67. British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2007.