OK, so you may not have an actual caped, pale faced being in your home ready to suck your blood, but what we are talking about is vampire power. What is vampire power? It is electronic devices that still suck away at energy (and your wallet) even though you have hit the “off” switch. These can include TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, answering machines, iPods, cell phones, stereos, laptops, desktops, anything with a remote, anything with a charger and anything with a clock display. They are everywhere.

The amount of power wasted depends on the electricity-eating unit, but the cost of electricity wasted for businesses and consumers alike in the US is estimated at $4 billion annually. Not all vampire power is truly wasted. There are many features in modern electronics that are simply needed for proper functioning of the device and to make the most of the unit’s features. Most wasted standby power is consumed by inefficient power supplies and components getting power unnecessarily.

Ways to Fight Vampire Power

•Unplug electronic devices. This ensures that all electricity is cut-off from the unit. •Reduce your demand. Really, how many TV’s do you need for one room? •Turn off your power strip. Plug your devices into a power strip but when you’re not using those devices turn off the power strip. •Remove chargers from the wall when you are not charging. This means your cell phone charger, iPod charger, laptop charger, etc. •Buy Energy Star appliances. Energy Star endorsed appliances take standby energy into account, and devices that qualify for certification draw less energy than others in the “off” mode. •Use a smart strip for your computer accessories. These work really well for your computer in various ways and how you may use your computer. Some monitor by occupancy and others may monitor your accessories. •Use a Kill-A-Watt device to measure your electronics power consumption.