How ‘Energy Vampires’ are increasing your electric bill

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — They’re creepy, spooky, all together ooky and they’re costing you hundreds of dollars a year — “energy vampires.”

“Energy vampires is just a fun way for us to talk about and explain that all of you appliances and electronics can drain power even when they’re turned off,” says Kendra Acosta with Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

As if your electric bill wasn’t scary enough, leaving these devices plugged in can cost you. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an appliance constantly taking in just one watt of electrical current, would add one dollar a year to your bill. But you likely have more than one appliance plugged in, and some are pulling more that one watt.

The DoE estimates all the appliances in your home could add up to $200 to your bill every year. The DoE says that by eliminating energy vampires in your home, you could save up to 10% on your bill each month.

Before you put the proverbial stake in an energy vampire, you need to know what you’re looking for. Hair dryers, electric shavers and curling irons are energy vampires that lurk in the bathroom. While microwaves, coffee machines and toasters can drain you dry in the kitchen.

However, the Dracula of energy vampires can be found where you would expect to find Dracula — your TV. Older televisions and DVR’s can drain 25 to 45 watts of energy while in stand-by mode, meaning you could be paying nearly $50 a year just to leave them off.

“One good tip,” Acosta says, “is if your appliances are getting old, it may not be a bad idea to consider upgrading. Newer appliances and energy star appliances are about as efficient as you can get.” She says energy experts recommend upgrading to newer models when possible.

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