Are you aware of the “vampire” power that is being used in your house? If you have ever gotten an electricity bill that seems a bit higher than normal you might be the victim of vampire power usage in your house. To tell you the truth, everyone is a victim and it is hard to get away with not becoming one in the modern technology driven world that we live in today.
So what is Vampire Power you are asking? Vampire power is a new term that has been coined in the “Green blogosphere” for energy that is wasted on household appliances that are in standby mode alone. In fact, The National Geographic: Saving Energy (March 2009 issue) states, “A Study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that “vampire” power sucked up by electronics in standby mode can add up to 8 percent of a house’s electric bill.” That is a lot of energy wasted each month and is shown accurately in your monthly electricity bill.
Some examples of vampire power in our household is the carbon monoxide detectors, cordless telephones, cell phone chargers, coffee maker, computer, cable TV box, alarm clocks and so many more appliances charged with the crime. Even if your appliances are energy efficient ones, vampire power is still seen in your electricity bills monthly.
So why should we care about vampire power if everyone has it? Simply put, vampire power is wasted electricity that dutifully adds to our daily footprint of CO2 usage. It is a fact that a television uses more electricity while turned off than it does while turned on. This does not mean that everyone should run out and turn on all of your appliances in the house that are in standby mode. On the other hand, there are things that each and every one of us can do to minimize vampire power in our household.
Here is what you can do to minimize your vampire power:
1. Unplug your coffee maker, toaster oven and other kitchen appliances when not in usage. About a year ago my family started to do this and found that we were using a lot of energy just to keep those lit background clocks in the kitchen running. We had around five clocks that we were powering just so we could tell the time. Now we only have two lit which is on the microwave and the stove since these are hard to unplug each time they are not in use. It is hard to do at first but then gets easier after you get into the groove of doing it.
2. Place all your technology such as your computer, television, radio, speakers, cable box and et cetera on power energy strips. For around ten dollars or less you can purchase these power energy strips from your local “do-it-yourself” center and have a wonderful return on your investment. When you are completed with the items on the power energy strips simply switch off the switch. This is easier than plugging and unplugging everything.
3. Replace those old traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can even go a set farther and replace those old light bulbs with light emitting diodes called LED’s.
4. Before purchasing a new appliance check out the Federal Energy & Renewable Energy site to check which appliance is better than others for vampire power.
5. There are “Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitors” that can be purchased from some of the larger “do-it-yourself” centers. Basically you can plug this monitor into the wall unit and then plug your appliance into the monitor. It will tell you how much electricity it uses and will help you find which appliances you might need to update.
6. A slightly more expensive method is a “GreenSwitch“. A GreenSwitchis a master control switch over all the electricity in your household. It allows the home owner to turn off all the electricity in the room at any time. This is great for larger rooms that you do not use all the time, or at night when everyone is sleeping.