There may be a “monster” lurking around your home and office, even when you’re not there. That monster is called a “vampire load.” Vampire loads get their name in reference to the energy that is leeched by devices that are turned off, but still connected to an outlet. How much electricity do vampire loads really account for? The average U.S. household expends about $100 per year to power vampire loads. Expand that to a national scale and suddenly you are looking at $10 billion a year in energy consumption to feed these monsters!
What Sucks The Life Out Of Your Wallet?
Take an inventory in your office and at your home. How many of these vampire loads are taking a bite out of your wallet?
- Chargers. This includes cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, and power tools. Regardless of whether or not they are charging a device, if they are plugged in, they are still drawing power.
- Entertainment systems. Video game consoles, DVD/VCR players, satellite boxes, and of course TVs draw a constant amount of power when powered off.
- Office Equipment. Monitors, computer towers, and the microwave in the breakroom draw power even when they are turned off but still plugged into an outlet.
So What Do You Do?
The best weapon against this particular kind of vampire is not garlic, a wood stake, or the sun. Your habits are the best weapons to combat vampire loads. Make it a habit to only have chargers plugged in when they are being used. Plug multiple devices into a power strip so they can be turned off with one switch. Consider unplugging other less convenient devices when you are leaving for an extended period of time. Another great way you can save money is by buying a “smart power strip” that will completely power down devices for you. Learn more about what makes a smart strip so useful here. Finally, Energy Star-rated devices offer the lowest vampire loads and on average offer a 50 percent reduction in vampire energy use.