How to Save Money on Your Power Bill (By Staking Energy Vampires)

Estimated Monthly Savings: $30

Your electric bill is one of those things you just learn to deal with. After all, we all need power, so we just pay the utility bill every month without really thinking too hard about it. But what if there was an insidious force in your home that was drawing power you weren’t using? Power you’re paying for, but don’t need to? This force is the energy vampire, and chances are good it’s in every room of your house.

What is an energy vampire? It’s any device or appliance that draws energy passively, even when you think it’s turned off. For example, your television has that red light on the side of it, even when it’s turned off. Ditto your laptop’s power display. Even your microwave uses more electricity to power the clock than it does to actually cook your food.

All of these devices are sucking down power you’re paying for. And while it isn’t much individually (maybe $1 a month per offending device), it represents a big cost overall.

Drive Home The Stake

So what do you do? Well, if you’ve got the time and energy, you simply unplug everything when you’re not using it. Your TV, your DVD player, your game consoles… everything. However, most of us don’t have the time or energy to do that, which is what makes power strips your best friend. How Stuff Works also suggests you can create a master device on a power strip so that when that device powers off, all the rest do, too (so when your computer is off, your printer, scanner, etc. also turn off). Whether you do that or not, though, it’s a lot easier to just flick a single switch to turn off all your entertainment devices than to dig through the tangle of wires to make sure everything is unplugged. In addition to being easier, it’s a decision that can start saving you money immediately!