Vampire Power Drain – Save $250/Year

According to Wikipedia; Standby power, also called vampire power drain, vampire draw, phantom load, or leaking electricity, refers to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode.

Now I love saving money and I love not paying for things I don’t need to but seriously – are you telling me that every single little switch in my house has to be turned off for me to save money? So you mean that I need to unplug every lamp we own (I counted 8), every clock (2) and every DVD player/CD player or other item like that? Surely it really doesn’t make a difference?

The more I explored the more convinced I became that most items should be unplugged. The lamps, maybe not but the other things are draining and costing us money they don’t need to. Firstly, I want to throw out a whopping figure to you: Conservative estimates put vampire drain as costing US consumers $3 billion a year! $3 billion. I’d love to see that ploughed back into our economy!

For me when I think about unplugging my mind goes to small appliances and removing the plug on every last one.

Appliances are either in passive standby mode (the clock on the microwave) or active standby (the DVD player set to record) and here’s some more accurate figures that I found here:
Unplug your DVD player and save nearly $9 per year, unplug your computer and save $34. Now sure these aren’t huge figures but estimates put an average person’s yearly vampire power at close to $250. That’s 3 months electricity bill, a month’s worth of groceries or a car payment. All for unplugging items.

Now I’m going to do an experiment and was wondering if anyone else would join in? Let’s see if we can start unplugging things when we leave the room. Start unplugging radios, DVD players and computer monitors.

Is it really worth it? I believe so and it’s not difficult to do.

How to Avoid Vampire Power Drain / Phantom Load.

Here’s 8 common appliances to unplug with thanks to Planet Green for their estimates on usage:
TV. A TV on standby mode burns 10 watts in standby and 100 watts while on per hour.
DVD player. DVD uses 7 watts in standby. It uses 12 while turned on.
Modem. Your modem uses 14 watts an hour whether you are using it or not.
Computer. Your PC, including all the peripheries, drinks 15 watts on standby and 130 when left on. The monitor is the largest energy-gulper, scarfing down 11 in standby and 70 when in use.
Laptop. Laptops are a bit better. 2 watts in standby and 29 while in use.
Phone Charger. A phone charger takes one watt an hour whilst in standby, 5 when in use.
Ceiling Fan. A small-to-medium ceiling fan uses .1 kWh per hour.
Space HeaterAbout .09 kWh per hour on approx. average.


  1. mommaof4wife2r says:

    every little bit goes a long long way!!!! good stuff!!!
    i would love to repost this on project create a home with a link right here…let me know if you are interested! {}


  1. […] more ways to save on your electricity check out my Vampire Power article. Like it? Share it! Cancel […]

Speak Your Mind