Beware of vampire loads

Posted on Sep 26 2017 in Orange County REMC

Vampire loads come from devices that use electricity even when they appear to be off. The primary culprits are chargers, set-top television boxes, instant-on televisions and gaming systems. But you don’t need garlic, stakes or silver bullets. You just need to change how you handle these energy-sucking electronics.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Unplug chargers when not in use.
  • Invest in smart power strips. These look like normal power strips but have a twist; one of the outlets is the “master” that receives power all the time. The others are off. When the device connected to the master outlet turns on, the rest of the outlets receive power, too. Ingenious and perfect for entertainment setups! Have the television in the master outlet and when you turn it on, the set-top box, speakers, streaming devices, etc., will turn on, too. They are also ideal for PCs and their peripherals.
  • Turn off the instant-on function on your TV. Turn off set-top boxes that do not contain the DVR functionality or use a smart power strip.
  • Disable automatic updates in gaming consoles and turn the console completely off when you finish using it.

When replacing any device or appliance, look for an Energy Star-rated product.