Monique O'Grady: Vampires aren't just in the movies; they are in your home, feeding out electricity from several items that you aren't using. Vampire power otherwise known as phantom or standby power is the electricity that is wasted by devices when they are turned off or in sleep mode. You can usually tell that a device is affected by vampire power when it can be controlled by a remote control like a television. You plug it into an external power supply or AC adapter, like a laptop or a videogame console or it has a digital display or LED light that stays on when the equipment is off, like you will find with most DVD players and DVR boxes.
The biggest drains on your electricity bill are televisions and their accessories which can suck a month's worth of electricity from your home each year.
If you are curious which electronics are wasting the most energy, go to your local library, many have kilowatt readers that you can borrow to measure a device's energy usage. If you find a lot of energy wasters, the most direct way to save is by unplugging the equipment that are the biggest defenders, just remember to plug them back in when you are ready to use them.
And if you want to ensure you are turning items off, use power strips, they control groups of electronics all at once. Some tech-savvy smart power strips will cut down on wasted energy while also allowing you to monitor your home energy use from a phone or computer.
So use these tips to put a stake in the heart of vampire power and keep your devices from bleeding your wallet dry.