How many electronic devices do you think are plugged in in your house right now? It may be more than you think. According to CleanTechnica, the average household has 25 devices plugged in at any given time, and these constantly plugged-in devices sap energy and cause your bills to go up, even if they're turned off. The power that these devices consume while switched off but plugged in is referred to as "vampire energy", or standby power. Here are the worst energy vampires in the home:
- Computers and printers: It takes a lot of energy to keep your computer and printer plugged in and ready to use. For older computers, it actually takes more energy to power down every night rather than using sleep mode, but this problem has been fixed in newer models, so shut down your computer every night.
- The microwave: Your microwave actually probably uses more energy in total to power its digital clock than it does to cook food, based on how much time it spends actually cooking compared to the time it spends in standby mode. Other appliances with digital clock faces, such as coffee makers, are also guilty of this. Plug all of these appliances into the same power strip so that you can easily turn them all on and off at the same time.
- The TV and cable box: About $2 billion is spent each year in America to pay for standby power for cable boxes alone, and television sets waste even more energy, using about 1,400 kilowatt hours of standby power annually. Connecting your TV and cable box to a power strip and turning it off when you're not using it can save you more than $150 per year.