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Halloween is just over a month away. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t shadowy creatures about, feeding on the lifeblood of the living. The “living” is you, the homeowner. And the lifeblood is our environment, and your pocketbook. 

Who is this dastardly villain that draws life out of both your finances, and ultimately at our natural world as well? Energy enthusiast and writer Allen Green is here to talk about ways to ward off this lifeforce-draining bad guy, and offers you ways to help you to save money, and to do your part in saving the world, too …

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Whether or not you realize it, there is a villain on the prowl. And yes, you should be very afraid of this creature. Not only does he harm the environment and take a bite out of your wallet every month, but he is also very sneaky about it. There are very few people that even know this villain exists and even fewer people that know what to do to stop it.

The villain that we are speaking of is vampire power. If you are unfamiliar with vampire power (like most people are), keep reading and learn how to stop it dead in its tracks before it can do any more harm to your budget.

What is Vampire Power?

Vampire power is the electricity that household gadgets and appliances consume when they are turned off, but still plugged into the wall. Even if gadgets are turned off, they are still sucking up energy and causing your power bills to skyrocket every month. In fact, it is estimated that vampire power accounts for about 5 to 10% of a household’s annual power usage.

Even more alarming, the Energy Information Administration reports that in the United States, vampire power costs consumers more than $3 billion each year.

Even as Count Orlok ascended the stairs to feed on his victims in 1922's *Nosferatu* film, vampire power is making a victim of your energy bill.

Vampire power is also hard on the environment. To power your home, thousands of coal-burning power plants produce a large amount of carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is then pumped out into the air. Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the leading causes of global climate change.

What Causes Vampire Power?

There are three main causes of vampire power. These causes are:

1. Gadgets that supply a charge to other gadgets—such as cell phone chargers—consume energy even if nothing is plugged into it or if the gadget plugged into it is fully charged.

2. Gadgets that display things like the time of day or the temperature constantly drain power. While some of this power consumption is justified (like the temperature monitor in your refrigerator) many of these items should be turned off.

3. Most of the appliances and gadgets around your house are plugged in all day, even when you are not using them. Even though they are not turned on, they are still sucking energy. This means that devices such as televisions, printers, computers, radios and curling irons are sucking up energy all day long.

How Can I Prevent Vampire Power?

If you are ready to stop the unnecessary drain on your finances that vampire power causes, the first step is to identify which electronic devices in your home drain the most power when not in use. The appliances that use the most electricity are things like cell phone and computer chargers, televisions, computers and alarm clocks.

Use power strips. The simplest way to prevent vampire power is to unplug your devices when you are not using them. An easy way to do this is use a power strip. You can plug all of your electronics into the strip and turn off the entire strip when you are not using any of the devices.

Buy energy efficient appliances. A certain amount of vampire power is pretty much unavoidable as it is impractical to turn off large appliances like stoves and refrigerators. However, this does not mean that you can’t reduce the power that these appliances drain. Purchasing energy-efficient appliances can keep vampire power at a minimum. These products are specifically manufactured and must be meet certain low-energy consumption requirements before they are put on the market.

Be smart about energy consumption. If you are worried about vampire power causing your electricity bills to skyrocket every month, why not take this time to cut down on your overall energy consumption? Always remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room and use energy-efficient appliances whenever possible.

Look into alternative energy sources. And if you really want to get serious about your energy consumption, consider installing solar panels on your roof and explore other forms of alternative energy. The initial cost might be a bit steep, but you will definitely see the savings in the long run!

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Thanks, Allen!

Allen Green is avid sports fan and home and energy enthusiast. He blogs about saving money and energy topics for UtilityCompany.net, one of the leading online resources for lowering your utility bill through deregulated energy. He is somewhat new to Twitter, but you can follow him @AllenGreen3.

Cheers,
Rob.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.