Slay your energy vampires with these simple strategies

Gather around as we let you in on a secret spookier than the little ghouls getting ready to trick-or-treat this Halloween – ways to keep vampires away. When you turn off your lights at night, do you see beady little eyes (the small lights around your home)?

Standby lights on electronics, such as TVs, cable boxes, DVRs and video game consoles are telling signs that power is slowly being drained even though a product isn’t in use. Energy vampires, or devices that use electricity even when turned off, can account for almost 10% of residential electricity use. PlayStations, computers, tablets, TVs, microwaves, printers and everything else that makes our lives more convenient – so many items constantly drawing power, even when not in use – can have a very significant impact on energy usage. While it is often easy to remember to turn off the lights or shut off the fans when you leave the room, it is even easier to overlook the little red, green and white lights that show power is still being used.

This year, don’t forget to take care of the energy vampires lurking unsuspectingly under your roof by using these vampire slaying tactics:


Unplug energy-consuming vampires when not in use. Cellphones, coffee makers, gaming systems and even rechargeable toothbrushes should be unplugged when not in use or at full power.


Using power strips is an easy way to start slaying energy vampires. Plug “wall warts” (the cord with the large square-shaped plugs) and “bricks” (power cords that have boxes in the middle of them) into power strips, and turn off the strip when not needed. Using “smart” power strips makes it even easier – these automatically cut off power when devices are not in use.


Make smart upgrades. Look for the Energy Star® label when purchasing new appliances. They can use half as much energy as other appliances. Avoid buying products that include unnecessary “bells and whistles.” Some of these extra features – like an upgraded refrigerator or device with features that will rarely be used – can waste energy.

If energy vampires are hurting your wallet, implement these strategies and you could reap significant energy savings – no wooden stakes or garlic bulbs required.

Want to see how much these energy vampires could be costing you? Use Duke Energy’s Energy Slayer Calculator to easily identify the unknown power suckers in your home.

Comments (2)

Posted May 27, 2020 by Afton Jackson
Since we're staying at my brother's beach house for vacation I wanted to know what are the best ways for us to save power. I found it helpful when you suggested using power strips for a lot of the appliances because we'll most likely be using many at a time and having the option to completely shut the power off can prevent overloading or excessive electricity use. I'll be keeping the rest of your article in mind while searching for places I can get these power strips and other utilities before we settle in. Thank you!
Posted December 08, 2019 by El Golfo
The LED lights on my power strips are not “vampires.” My cable box with a DVR that runs 24/7 and draws 1200 watts an hours is the problem. The power companies, if they really cared, would pressure the cable companies to distribute more energy efficient cable boxes.

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