Hunting (Energy) Vampires This Halloween

Posted: October 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

As Halloween approaches, look out for vampires! Energy vampires that is.Cartoon vampire in haunted castle

Also known as standby power and phantom load, vampire energy is electricity that’s used by appliances and electronic devices even when they are switched off.

The top 4 energy vampires in your home are:


Phones, rechargeable tools and wireless appliances need occasional charging, but their chargers still use small amounts of energy even when they’re not connected to a device.

Cable and satellite TV boxes

If the box’s lights are on, it is using power. They use more when the television is on, but they are always working – even when the TV is off. Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) also use power when off.

Instant-on TVs

You never have to wait for your “instant-on” TV to warm up. Unfortunately, to do this, the TV stays at nearly full power all the time until switched on.

Gaming consoles

Most gaming consoles use as much energy as a refrigerator even when not being used. Check console settings and disable automatic updates, which accounts for the most energy drain.

How to get rid of these vampires

  • Unplug chargers when not in use.
  • Group energy vampires together on a power strip and switch them off when not in use.
  • Turn off the instant-on function on your TV. Turn off set-top boxes that do not contain the DVR functionality or use a power strip.
  • Disable automatic updates in gaming consoles and turn it off when game playing is over.
  • When replacing any device or appliance, look for an EnergyStar rated product.

Check with Peace River Electric Cooperative for additional suggestions and energy-saving advice. We’re here to help you save energy.