Beware the vampire load - South Central Power

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Beware the vampire load

October 12, 2022

Devices that steal your power even when turned off

October is the season of witches, ghosts, werewolves, and zombies, but there is another type of monster that haunts homes and businesses all year long — the “vampire load.” This vampire load, sometimes called a “phantom load” or “standby power” is the result of some appliances, chargers, and electronics draining energy — and your wallet — even when powered off. According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, this can account for 5–10% of all energy use in a home, which could easily add up to $100 or more a year in electricity costs.

While many gadgets in your home consume energy when not in use, there are four main culprits of vampire load: gaming consoles, chargers, televisions, and TV accessories such as DVD players and speakers. Luckily for you, stopping these pesky energy thieves is easier than warding off a vampire with a wooden stake. Try these tips to stop vampire loads in their tracks:
• Unplug devices when not in use or switch off the power strip they are plugged into.
• Consider purchasing smart power strips which can automatically cut power to devices in standby mode. Many come with surge protection to keep your devices safe during storms and other events that may cause a power surge.
• Change the settings of gaming consoles so they don’t automatically update when powered off — the main reason behind their vampire consumption.
• When replacing any device or appliance, look for an ENERGY STAR-rated product.

With these few tricks, you will be conquering that pesky vampire load and saving electricity in no time. For more ideas to save, visit

From the October 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.