Rethink Energy: Vampires Suck

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

  1. Energy vampires are in all of our homes.
  2. They suck (energy), not just on Oct. 31, but all year round.
  3. You can easily identify and stop them (no garlic or wooden stake necessary).

Happy Halloween ARLnow readers. Do you have vampires lurking in your home?

AIRE Energy Vampires graphicYes, energy vampires exist in all of our homes! Believe it or not, electronics actually use energy while they are switched off or are in standby mode. They’re called “energy vampires” because they “suck” energy, the lifeblood of your home, all year round.

The typical American home has 40 devices that are continuously sucking power. It’s only a small amount of power per house, but it adds up. This collective vampire power accounts for around 10% of all electricity used in U.S. homes, or an estimated $3 billion dollars wasted annually.

AIRE Energy Vampires graphicSome of the main energy-sucking culprits in your home could be your TV, stereo system, router, game console, microwave oven, or cell phone charger. Many culprits have clocks or lights that continue to operate after the appliance is turned off. Other devices may give no indication that they are using power when not in use, such as your DVR.

Arlington libraries can help! They have Kill-A-Watt devices that can be checked out to see what is sucking energy at your house, how much, and what it is costing you. This is fun for kids and adults (school science experiment — hint hint).  

How to stop energy vampires:

  • Unplug devices when not in use.
  • Plug your devices into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.
  • Buy ENERGYSTAR appliances
  • Activate sleep mode instead of a screen saver on your computer

Saving energy and money is a treat you can enjoy all year long.

Please send your energy questions to [email protected] and don’t forget to take the Rethink Energy Challenge!

Reducing your energy use is easy, saves you money, and helps make Arlington a more sustainable community. Arlington’s energy team challenges you to Rethink Energy over the next month by trying these simple actions — you could save $50 per year!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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