NIPSCO_LOGO_Aug2013Although Halloween has pasted, energy vampires may be lurking in your home consuming electricity around-the-clock, even when they’re not in use.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), energy vampires are sucking $19 billion—about $165 per U.S. household on average—worth of electricity out of American homes annually.

Although many electronics are becoming more energy-efficient, the amount of electronics and devices we’re using is increasing. According to the NRDC, the average home has about 65 devices plugged in. Out of those 65, the top five include:

1.        Computer equipment
2.        TVs
3.        Surround sound systems
4.        Cable or satellite TV boxes
5.        Household items with a clock (microwave, DVD player, etc.)

So what can you do to slay these vampires? Here are a few suggestions:

·        Unplug devices not in use or used rarely.
·        Plug devices into a power strip, allowing you to turn off multiple devices with one switch.
·        Plug devices into a digital timer. A digital timer is better than a mechanical one because digital timers typically have a lower standby load.
·        Adjust power settings.
o        Set your computer to go to sleep after 30 minutes or less of inactivity.
o        Disable “quick start” and “instant on” modes on TVs and game consoles if these modes are not needed.

·        Look for the ENERGY STAR logo when buying new equipment. Products with the ENERGY STAR logo meet the government’s criteria for energy efficiency.

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