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Vampire Electric Loads in Your Home

The Energy Show · Vampire Electric Loads in Your Home We’re talking about VAMPIRES on this week’s show — vampire electric loads. It’s Halloween season, and 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 sitting out in plain site like computers, routers, Wi-Fi repeaters, phone chargers, TVs, cable boxes, cable modems, entertainment consoles and appliances (anything with a clock and an illuminated LED). Less obvious vampires are things like security systems, motion detectors, lighting control systems and integrated audio systems. The really sneaky devices that you might not see include doorbell and thermostat transformers, WiFi thermostats, hot water and furnace ignitors, garage door openers, irrigation systems, outdoor lighting control systems, 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 24×7 power — over $750 per year at an average rate of $0.35/kwh. To learn more about these vampire electric loads — how to identify them, calculate their costs, and drive a stake through their heart — tune in to this week’s Energy Show.


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