Listen Up: Vampires Sucking Power from your House

Here’s a nightmare for you: at night, when you’re asleep and you think things are quiet, there are vampires sucking power out of your house and increasing your electric bill. The fact of the matter is that every plugged in electrical device in your home uses a small amount of standby power — even if you think these devices are off

When I explored each room of my house with a wattmeter, here is what I found:

  • Computer devices used 66 watts: printer, cable modem, multiple wireless routers, laptop charger, mini-speaker
  • Communications used 16 watts: iphone charges in several rooms, cordless phone
  • Entertainment systems used 57 watts: flat screen TV, cable box, sound system, DVD player, subwoofer
  • Kitchen appliances used 6 watts: microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher
  • Other culprits used 23 watts: cordless vacuum, clock radio (remember those?), irrigation controls, garage door opener, furnace, thermostat transformer, doorbell transformer

These devices added up to 168 watts of 24×7 power. At my incremental electric rate of $0.25/kWh, these vampires sucked $368 out of my wallet last year. It is even worse if you have lighting controls, security cameras, extra fridges, wine coolers and IP thermostats. We have some solar customers who have over 500 watts of vampire devices — which in their top rate tier tacks on an extra $1,500 to their electric bill every year.

Please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World for ways to reduce your standby energy consumption without compromising your 21st century lifestyle.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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