How to Slay Vampire Energy In Your Home & Save Money

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Your home is full of devices that drain vampire energy. Learn how to slay these vampires, to help save money and the environment.

I used to work in an office where the digital clock on the microwave was always on. Yet there was a wall clock directly above the microwave, making the clock on the microwave completely redundant. Microwaves are great energy-saving devices when used properly, but in this instance, this microwave was most definitely drawing what’s known as vampire energy.

What Is Vampire Energy?

A white plug on a blue background, with a blue text box that reads how to slay vampire energy in your home and save money

Vampire energy is quite a dramatic term for the power that appliances and electrical goods use when they are plugged in but on standby. It’s also often referred to as a phantom load or standby power.

You might be wondering what this looks like in your home. Well, your TV that displays a red standby light when not in use? A user of vampire energy. The microwave that displays the time when you’re not using it? Another vampire energy user. A phone charger that’s plugged in and switched on, but not charging anything? You guessed it, another vampire energy user.

To illustrate this further, I once read somewhere that it is estimated that a typical microwave is on for 70 hours a year. Yet a microwave draws power for more than 100 times as long, just to keep the clock and electronic controls powered. That means you are using energy and paying extra on your bills for appliances you are not even using.

One blogger found that in fact, his microwave clock was consuming 25-30% of the power of the heating element of his microwave. That’s a lot of unnecessary energy wasted.

What Devices Drain Vampire Energy?

Lots of common household appliances drain vampire energy. These include:

  • TVs on standby
  • Microwaves with inbuilt clocks
  • Ovens with inbuilt clocks
  • Mobile phone chargers (once fully charged)
  • Electric toothbrush chargers (once fully charged)
  • Laptops (once fully charged)
  • Desktop computer monitors on standby
  • Printers on standby
  • TV boxes standby
  • Stereos on standby
  • Video game consoles on standby

How To Save Energy & Money

To get on top of vampire energy, it’s thankfully not as complex as slaying Dracula. And you’ll be pleased to hear that there are much less extreme ways to save energy than driving a stake through your television set!

Simply switching off appliances at the wall when you’re not using them is enough to save energy, and stop draining vampire energy, with very little effort.

Switching off or unplugging rechargeable devices, such as mobile phone chargers, laptop chargers, and electric toothbrush chargers as quickly as possible once they’re fully charged is also another good way to save money and energy, and slay that vampire energy.

If switching the socket off at the wall isn’t an option, you can buy switched extension leads, where every socket on the extension cable has its own individual switch. I use leads like this in my house, where the actual plug socket isn’t very accessible.

With energy bills so high at the moment, saving energy with one simple flick of the switch is something we can all get behind. After all, energy-saving tips don’t come much easier than this!

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  1. Hi, thanks for the advice. It’s definitely well worth looking at in my place. Especially with the increases we are to be hit with this year. I’m worried sick. I used to laugh at those who switch everything off, but now I’m agreeing with them. Appreciated. I got you a brew before. πŸ˜„

    1. I know, the increases are so scary. And O hear you – I used to laugh at my dad for going around the house turning off all the lights, and now I am my dad!! And thanks for much for the cuppa – so very much appreciated!

  2. This is alarmist nonsense. Many Eco people are well-meaning, but have little grasp of physics.
    I heard that a TV on standby uses up to 50% of the figure when on. That figure varies with the person in the pub who tells you this. I’m a tech and so I actually did the measurement. Mine was guzzling about half a watt. Of course, zero is better than even a half, integrated over time, but it’s important to get perspective.
    My own daughter ( degree standard, ho, ho ) goes potty when I leave my radio on since it wastes electricity ( which she doesn’t offer to pay for even though she earns more than I do ) and then leaves a 60W light running all day. Go figure.
    However, I hadn’t considered the standby consumption of the controller. Many are microprocessors which use negligible current themselves, but there may be associated circuitry which is up to no good. Worth a look.
    However, IMO, the clock uses naff-all.
    Now, there is one particularly nasty feature of microwaves you might be unaware of, which swallows power by the bucket-full and about which you can do little. The transformer which powers the magnetron is too small for the job and is inefficient. The reason is that the manufacturer saves a few pence per oven by skimping on the metal. This knackers the flux and requires more power for the same result. He doesn’t mind because you pay for that, not him. Nice one. I have oft pondered if it were possible to do something about that. Answers on a post-card……