Are vampire devices sucking your energy?

October 10, 2022

Halloween is just around the corner, but this year the scariest sight to see may well be something haunting your house all year round.

With an increasing awareness of energy efficiency caused by the cost of living crisis, many people are turning their attention to scaring off the ‘vampire devices’ in their home. Although garlic won’t be enough to deter these devices, there are some quick fixes you can try to keep them at bay.

A vampire device is an appliance that keeps consuming energy even when not in active use, as long as the device is still turned on at the wall. As a result, energy is wasted and your bills are passively increased.

Have a think about what devices you leave turned on at home even when you’re not using them. Chargers, printers, games consoles and microwaves are all common vampire devices as the wall switch is often left on between uses. Could you commit to turning them off completely when you’re finished using them?

The problem with vampire devices is the damage they cause to both your pocket and the planet. According to British Gas, the UK spends £2.2 billion a year on vampire devices, with between 9% and 16% of home electricity used to power appliances in standby mode. Two of the worst culprits financially are TVs, which can cost up to £24.61 in passive energy annually, and microwaves, which can cost up to £16.37 a year. It might not seem like much, but when you add up the spend across every device in your house, the figure suddenly seems a lot more scary.

The good news is there are a few simple steps you can take that should help slash the impact of vampire devices:

  • Make sure when you’re done using an appliance, you switch it off at the wall; even standby mode uses electricity unnecessarily
  • Using an extension lead can be an easy way to turn off multiple appliance at once when you’re not using them, particularly before going to bed
  • Installing smart plugs allows you to turn off plugs you don’t need remotely via a smartphone app or on a timer, meaning you don’t even have to get to the plug to make a difference
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances. Older devices can be very inefficient with their energy usage and so an initial investment into a new device might actually save you money in the long run.

As new technology and products are launched every year, the number of electronic devices in our houses is on a steady incline. While each product promises to be good for productivity and happiness, it isn’t as good for your pocket or the planet. Eliminating passive energy use through vampire devices in your house is a small issue you can tackle to have a real impact on your energy bills, and on the amount of energy you consume.


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