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Tame the Suckers

Consumers love electric devices and appliances that entertain, add convenience or promote productivity. But adding a new device probably means you’re inviting another energy vampire into your home.

Nearly all new electrical products – TVs, coffee makers, computers and many more – are energy vampires. They sit in standby mode consuming power while waiting for someone to use them.

Individually, these power suckers account for a small amount of energy use, but the average household has about 40, so the consumption and power bills can add up.

Walton EMC energy advisors suggest the following measures:

Look for…

  • Any gadget with an external power supply
  • Devices that use a remote control
  • Anything that has a continuous display

Fight Back

  • Unplug. Unplug any electronics when not in use and unplug rarely used devices.
  • Use power strips. Plug devices into power strips and turn them off when not needed. Smart power strips make it even easier by automatically shutting off power. See the related article.
  • Activate power-saving settings. On your computer, monitor or game console, disable the screensaver and turn on the auto power down option (if available). Also turn off the “quick start” or “instant-on” option.
  • Install timers. Set it and forget it. This works particularly well with items you only use at specific times, like a coffee maker.

Use the energy calculator to find more ways to save.