Keep energy vampires from sucking your money Keep energy vampires from sucking your money

Keep energy vampires from sucking your money

This Halloween, use the Energy Slayer Calculator to gauge spooky savings and unplug electronic devices


Energy vampires are devices that use electricity even when they are turned off, and they can account for up to 20 percent of your annual costs. The U.S. Energy Department says you can save as much as 10 percent by identifying and unplugging energy vampires. 

Energy slayer calculator

Try this calculator to find out what's sucking power in your home:

If your cable box is plugged in for a year, for example, it would add $17.83 to your annual costs, the U.S. Energy Department says. A cable box with a digital video recorder more than doubles your total, to $43.46. 

Other vampires are cable/satellite boxes; digital TV converters; DVR, VCR, DVD players; mobile/cellular devices; MP3 players; video game consoles; standby coffee makers; devices that turn on instantly with a remote control; devices with a standby light or clock. Devices such as cellphone chargers that have a large plug consume energy even when the item to be charged is not attached.

Cords used with laptop computers, televisions and some cable TV equipment are often joined in the middle by large black boxes. These “bricks” use energy continuously as long as they are plugged in.


Unplug. It sounds simple, but unplugging devices when not in use can save you money. By controlling your energy vampires, you can improve your energy savings.

  • Use energy-saving features commonly built into personal computers.

  • Plug cell chargers and bricks into power strips, and turn them off when not needed. Using smart power strips makes it even easier. These power strips automatically cut off power when devices are not in use.


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