Vampire power, also known as standby power, is the electricity used by household appliances and electronic devices when they are not in use and even when they have been turned off! As long as a device is plugged in, it can continue to pull power.
In some cases, this is vital to the proper functioning of the appliance such as a refrigerator, but many devices quietly drain energy when you think they are “off” and drain money from your wallet at the same time.
Cell phone AC adapters continue to supply power even when the batteries are fully charged or when nothing is plugged into them. Some adapters waste as much as 50% of the power they use.
Many televisions actually consume more electricity during the hours they're not in use than the times you're actually using them to watch your favorite show. Your TV may be turned off but it is still draining electricity, waiting in “stand-by” mode for you to click the remote control “ON” button. That big screen TV could be costing you close to $200 in wasted energy a year.
Computer printers and monitors continue to pull power when the computer isn’t actively using them.
5% of all the electricity used in the US is vampire power and is equivalent to the amount of energy used by the entire country of Italy in one year!
Here is what you can do to fight vampire power:
1) Identify which devices in your home are sucking energy needlessly. The Kill-A-Watt digital wattage reader from P3 International allows you to check how much power your electronic devices are consuming.
2) If possible, replace these devices with energy-saving Energy-Star devices.
3) Unplug it when it’s not in use! This is the one sure-fire way to end vampire power. Or put the devices on a power strip that has an ON/OFF button and turn it off when you no longer wish to use the
appliance or device.
4) Get a Watt Stopper/Legrand's Isolé plug load controller which basically combines a typical surge protector with a motion detector. This gadget will cut off all energy flow to the devices plugged into it when it senses that there has been no motion in the room after a programmable amount of time.
Don't let vampire power suck YOUR wallet dry!