Top 5 Ways to Ward Off Energy Vampires

Did you know that unplugging unused electronics, otherwise known as “energy vampires” can save as much as 10 percent on your electric bill? According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average American household owns 25 electronic devices. Televisions, game consoles, computers, cable boxes and printers are the worst energy offenders. If left plugged in, these continue to draw power from electrical outlets, even when turned off. Also known as phantom loads, these devices can cost you hundreds of dollars a year collectively. Try implementing the following simple solutions for savings on next month’s electric bill.

Use a timed power switch

If you just can’t remember to unplug that hairdryer, curling iron or electric shaver in the morning, try a timed power switch. They’re traditionally used to turn the lights on and off, but can also prevent energy loss in your bathroom by shutting everything off after you’ve gone.

Plug in to a power strip

Cable boxes are one of the worst energy vampires and the older the box, the more energy that’s lost. Just one of these boxes can cost you $15 or more a year. To avoid this, hook your entertainment center up to a power strip. You can easily turn the whole system off at once if you’re going on a long vacation or even just out of town for the weekend.

Put your computer to sleep

Simply setting your computer to sleep mode can save you money! Better yet, turn it off completely when you’re done for a savings of $15-$35 a year. Printers and fax machines should also be shut down when not in use.

Invest in ENERGY STAR -rated appliances

When it’s time to purchase a new appliance, consider investing in an energy efficient model. You may spend more initially, but you’ll save money on your electric bill over time. Did you know that you can often get rebates on these purchases? Visit to find rebate offers for your zip code.

Skip the space heater

If some rooms in your house are colder than others, it’s tempting to use a space heater. They’re a great way to drive up your energy bill though and pose the threat of starting a fire. To eliminate the need for a heater, add insulation to your attic or basement. For a low cost, do-it-yourself alternative, use caulking or weather stripping around door and window frames to reduce drafts and cold spots.