Eliminate vampire power
Why? Many of our household appliances, are never fully switched off, but spend most of the time in a standby mode. Even though we are not using them, they use energy to power functions lights and remote sensors. The clever new name for this energy suck is vampire power. It can account for as much as 10% of a home’s energy consumption. Think about everything that leaves some kind of light on when you’re not using it: TV, DVD player, computers, video game systems, charging cell phones, e-readers, and iPads, even your electric toothbrush.
How to get it done: Unplug your devices when not in use. Make sure you are using the real on/off switch, not a stand-by switch. Buy a “smart” power switch for the devices you charge such as your laptop, cell phone, and iPod. These will automatically turn off once your devices are fully charged. iGo and Belkin both make these.
Cost to you: Unplugging is free. The “smart” power strips cost $30.
$ Savings: The Vampire Sucks website will estimate the money that you spend on vampire power each year. My households total was $80/year.
Family activity: Since kids are often big users of household electronics, they should certainly be responsible for preventing vampire power. Let them know they need to unplug video games and computers when not in use.