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 , increasing your electric bill — 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 Solar Energy Show for ways to reduce your standby energy consumption without compromising your 21st century lifestyle.