October is a frightfully good time to address a mostly unknown problem that occurs in most homes–”vampire appliances”. Vampire appliances are items in your home that remain plugged in, accessing power and energy even when they are not in use. It might not seem scary, but think of it this way… The average American home spends between $1,000-$2,000 a year on electricity and vampire appliances can account for up to 10% of your annual energy bill.* So if your household spends $2,000 a year on electricity, you’re losing up to $200 a year. 

To ward off these pesky energy losses, here are a seven ways to turn your energy bill into a treat: 

  1. Unplug unnecessary electronic devices when not in use–game consoles, speakers, cable boxes, etc.
  2. Flat-screen TVs are one of the most guilty vampire appliances. Try plugging your television and corresponding components into a power strip or surge protector. When not in use, simply turn off the strip and no electricity will be used by these energy-sucking devices. 
  3. Video game consoles are lots of fun but can result in high levels of energy output when not in use. Make sure they are unplugged or plugged into the same power strip as your television to help up your savings. 
  4. Cell phones and tablets continue to suck energy even when fully charged. Unplug your devices as soon as they are full (or full enough) to save up to $5 a year per device. 
  5. Almost all homes contain computers or laptops and they can suck up to $40 a year. While laptops and printers use less energy than computers, power off and use the power strip method with your office devices as well.
  6. Love coffee? You won’t love how much energy your coffee maker and other small devices use each year. Save up to $15 a year by unplugging your small kitchen appliances when not in use. 
  7. Got a device that uses one of those large AC adapters? Sometimes referred to as “bricks” or “wall warts”, devices that use these types of plugs use energy even when the device isn’t in use. Plug these into a power strip that you can turn off to avoid using excess energy. 

The moral of this horror story? Invest in a few power strips or surge protectors (learn the difference here) to help you manage your electricity usage. 

*According to MarketWatch