This 4th of July, Declare Independence from Energy Vampires

July 2, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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This 4th of July, a new fight for independence looms. The enemies are modern and highly mobile. They have already infiltrated your walls. They may number 40+ in your home right now. But don't let their 21st century appearances fool you. Their tactics are centuries old, harkening back to the days when mythical creatures posed a very real threat.

Who are these new foes? Energy vampires of course! These are appliances and electronics in your home that are constantly plugged in, sucking precious electricity from your very home to sustain themselves. In the process, they are nefariously driving up your electric bill. Fortunately, you have the tools at your disposal to drive back with a stake of your own. In this week's blog, we'll talk about how to get to the heart of energy vampires. Learn how to get rid of them without even stopping at the store for garlic on your way home. Are you with us? This 4th of July, declare independence from home energy vampires!


Declare Independence from Home Energy Vampires This 4th of July

What are energy vampires?

Energy vampires suck electricity from the outlets in your home even when you're not using them. These are more formally known as Miscellaneous Electrical Load (MEL), and include objects that aren't related to heating and cooling, lighting, or large appliances.

Think about your desktop computer, for example. The average desktop draws 73.97 watts of energy when it's on and idle. But when you put it into sleep mode, this number doesn't drop to zero. A desktop in sleep mode draws 21.13 watts. Even a desktop that's completely off draws an average of 2.84 watts. That's not even including the monitor! The average LCD display uses 27.61 watts while it's on, and 1.38 when it's sleeping.

Sucking up your energy and your money.

These numbers might not seem like much, but when you think about how many small appliances and electronics you leave plugged in 24/7, they can add up. In fact, “energy vampires are often responsible for adding 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill,” according to This is definitely not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

How to fight back.

First, you must know your foe. This table from the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory gives you a good look at some of the most common energy vampires in your home, and how much energy they waste on average. Fortunately for you, most of these vampires are (paradoxically) hiding in plain site, so they should be easy to spot.

Now, here's what you need to do to take back your home from energy vampires this 4th of July.

  • Unplug things you don't use often. Of course it's not practical to unplug your cable box, but you could probably unplug those speakers you only use every so often.

  • Unplug your phone and laptop chargers when they're not in use. Also unplug them once the device is finished charging, instead of letting it sit on the charger.

  • Use sleep mode in devices that offer this functionality.

  • Use power strips to plug in electronics. This way, when you're not using them, you can turn off the power strip to prevent them from drawing current.

  • Use a smart power strip, which automatically turns off the power to devices that are plugged in when they go into sleep mode. We offer smart power strips with our Quick Home Energy Checkup service!

Taking the Fight to the Next Level

Are you ready to take the fight for home energy efficiency to the next level? Then consider a Home Energy Audit from greeNEWit! These audits will give you a complete picture of your energy usage, and offer recommendations as to reduce energy consumption in every part of your home. To learn more, contact greeNEWit today at 866.994.7639.

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