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“Always-on” electronics costing consumers billions

20150514_AlwaysOnElec_blog“Always-on” electronics and devices cost users $19 billion per year when not in use, according to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

$19 billion.  Billion with a “b.”

That’s about $165 a year in extra electricity expenses for the average household.  How is this possible?

It’s all due to something known as”vampire energy.” It might not be so frightening as the mythological bloodsucker, but what it does to your power bills is pretty scary!

Many don’t realize that electronics drain energy even if they are turned off or in “standby” mode.   You may have powered down the old lap top, but the device is still sucking energy so long as it is plugged in.

The NDRC’s report noted that vampire energy is becoming more common as people increasingly rely on electronic devices in day-to-day life.

So what’s to be done?  Here are three simple tips to reduce your bill and put a stake in vampire energy:

1.) Unplug it!  Most always-on energy provides little or no benefit because the devices are not performing their primary function.  Not using it?  Unplug, unplug, unplug.

A smart power strip automatically turns off items not in use.  Using one can prevent energy leakage from unused electronics.

A smart power strip automatically turns off items not in use. Using one can prevent energy leakage from unused electronics.

2.) Use a smart power strip.  If plugging and unplugging seems like too much of a drain, use a smart power strip.  Unlike an ordinary power strip, which only cuts off power to electronics when manually switched off, a smart strip has sensors that automatically detect and cut off power to devices in standby mode.

3.) Purchase energy efficient appliances.  Consider replacing appliances with more efficient models.  Look for electronics with the ENERGY STAR™ label.  These gadgets will use less power and lower your energy bills.

For more money-saving tips, join CUBEnergySaver.com, CUB’s free online service that builds a customized energy-saving plan for your home.

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