Protect Your Home From the Energy Scrooges!

By Brooke Drake, December 15, 2011, Energy Efficiency, News, Save Money

Christmas lights, inflatable lawn decorations, spot lights for lawn ornaments…they look festive, but most people know these items will definitely increase your energy bill (it’s all for the love of the holiday!). What you may not be aware of are the hidden items, or should I say the “energy scrooges” (a term we like to use during the holidays) that use energy without actually being turned on. These items more commonly referred to as “energy vampires” or using “standby power” consume electricity while they are switched off or in a standby mode. According to the Department of Energy, this energy loss accounts for 5-8% of a single family home’s total electricity use each year.

Since hosting parties is a popular thing to do during the holidays, the best place to target these energy scrooges this season would be your kitchen.  Here are some kitchen misers that you should be aware of:

  • Dish washer
  • Coffee maker/grinder
  • Microwave oven
  • computer
  • cell phone charger

When identifying a potential energy “scrooge” an easy rule of thumb is to look for anything that has an LED light, clock, etc. and a gadget or appliance that has a transformer (little black box) or a remote. Once you have found these energy hoarders, unplug them.

Now, if you’re like me, the idea of plugging and unplugging things all day doesn’t sound too appealing. So take some time to see which items you use the most and see if you could group them together. You can plug them into one power strip and turn the strip on and off as you need each item.

Don’t let these energy scrooges steal your holiday cheer; remember to unplug to save energy and save money this holiday season.

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