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Energy Vampires in your Home

We’re talking about VAMPIRES on this week’s show — energy vampires.

I know, it’s not Halloween yet, but these little energy suckers are insidious. I guarantee that you have dozens of little devices plugged into your home that are using a small amount of standby power, sucking energy all day and night. It really adds up, and causes nightmares for energy geeks like me.

Research shows that these “plug loads” are about 1/3 of a home's total energy consumption. We’re not talking about big appliances or lighting - but sneaky little things plugged in or wired in all around your home.

Think about what you have. Obvious vampire loads are devices like computers, routers, Wi-Fi repeaters, phone chargers, TVs, cable boxes, cable modems, and entertainment consoles. Less obvious vampires are things like security systems, motion detectors, appliances (anything with a clock and an illuminated LED). The really sneaky devices that you might not see include doorbell and thermostat transformers, WiFi thermostats (Nest), hot water and furnace ignitors, garage door openers, irrigation systems, outdoor lighting control systems, cordless vacuum cleaners, and pool timers.

To get a handle on this infestation, I went to every room with a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the power consumption of each device. It added up to over 250 watts of 24x7 power — over $500 per year.

To learn more about these energy vampires — how to identify them, calculate their costs, and stamp them out — tune in to this week’s Energy Show.


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