Energy Vampires: The Real Story
We hear a lot about conserving energy and how we need to work on that. One way to conserve energy and cut your energy bill is to compare energy providers and find ones that are more responsible. For example, Direct Energy in TX allows you to get the lowest rates there at only 8.4¢ per kWh in that specific region.
There are other ways to conserve energy, too. These have to do with finding the energy vampires and getting rid of or getting control of them. Believe it or not, these are real and you really can take control of them.
Did you know that your thermostat is responsible for nearly 50% of your energy bill? It is. This is one of the energy vampires that will suck the energy in your home. In the winter it runs to keep the home warm and in the summer, it is used to keep the house from becoming an oven. Yes, this can be controlled.
There are now thermostats that can learn. Consider the Nest. Not only does this thermostat look great, it can also learn your schedule and preferred temperatures to keep your home comfortable. This thermostat is in homes around the globe and is responsible for saving more than 8 BILLION kWh of energy in those homes since 2011. Independent studies have also shown it to reduce energy costs by as much as 12% in the winter and 15% in the summer.
Cell Phone Chargers
There is just no getting around it. We all have at least one cell phone charger in our homes, and some of us have them plugged in every room. These things are HUGE Energy Vampires. Cell phone chargers look harmless enough… just a wire that goes from the outlet in the wall to your cell phone. What you might not realize though is that these chargers constantly pull power, even when your phone isn’t connected to them. Most chargers consume a whopping .26 watts of energy even when they are not in use and as much as 2.24 watts even after your plugged in device has been fully charged.
DVD Players and Satellite TV Systems
These things also seem to be innocuous. They aren’t. If they remained on standby for a year, they would only cost you about $9 for that year. Your TV will cost you more, though, even turned off it will run you $10 per year. However, the reason that they still cost you money is because some parts of them do need to remain on even if the system itself is shut down. This is to support features like remote switches, memory, clocks and timers. This standby power is responsible for about 7% of your yearly energy bills. Figure that out. How much did you pay for energy last year? Now, what is 7% of that? How much could you have saved?
Even if some things are still on after you turn them off, you can still take control of your energy bills. There is something called a Conserve Socket that will allow you to do this. This is a plug-in for your wall outlets. When you plug something in to this socket, it will turn it completely off, even the standby power, after a certain time limit that you set. This helps you to conserve that energy and take control of the energy vampires.
By taking control of the energy vampires in your home, you will see a difference on your energy bills. A few more tips:
- Use the energy saver features that come standard on most computers.
- Plug your electronics into power strips and then turn the power strips off when you aren’t using them.
By doing these things, you will not just be saving money on your energy bills, you will also be reducing your carbon footprint.