Controling Vampire Power to Save on Electricity Bills


| Reading time 1 minute

Is your cell phone charger plugged-in at home, and your phone in pocket?  Did you know it continues to draw power, and cost you money,  right now!  In fact, most gadgets in your home, including your stereo and computer, waste power even when they are turned off. Especially products in our home offices and entertainment centres.  They draw power 24 hours a day.

The typical American home has about 40 of these gadgets.  “Energy Vampires” drawing phantom power account for about 10 percent of residential energy use, reports the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (“LBNL”).

Any appliance or gadget with a remote control needs some standby power for it to read the commands of the remote.  According to LBNL, here’s how a typical home theatre system might be depleting from your wallet when left plugged in:

Gadget Annual Energy Consumed
(while in Standby mode)
Total cost per year
(assumed cost $0.07/kWh)
Receiver 129.4 kWh $9.06
Game Console 418.8 kWh $29.31
Desktop Computer (in Sleep) 598.5 kWh $41.90
TV (with Remote) 67.7 kWh $4.74
DVR (with Remote) 286.5 kWh $20.05
DVD/VCR 83.4 kWh $5.84
Subwoofer 135.3 kWh $9.47
Total Annual Cost $120.37

There are simple solutions: get energy bars for all your gadgets, and use them! Try out The Energy Detective, which measures how much energy is being used in the home at any given time.  If you are remodelling, consider installing switched outlets.

And be sure to check in with us real soon as we are building a suite of apps that will help you better manage your power.  And we’re opening up our API so that any developer can access our energy pricing data, and other technologies.

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