#10WeeksofSummer: Don’t Let Vampires Drain Your Energy

It’s that time of year again—tens of thousands of people from around the world are swarming the streets of downtown San Diego to enjoy the annual festivities of Comic-Con International.

As costumes fill the streets for the multi-day event, we at SDG&E want to warn you about vampires in your home that are quietly sucking power and how you can conquer them.

Spotting a vampire device

Energy vampires, also known as “phantom energy” or “standby energy loss” are electronics, appliances and gadgets that quietly suck power even when they are turned off.  While these glowing standby lights and digital displays consume relatively small amounts on their own, collectively they can account for as much as 10 percent of a customer’s electricity costs. 

Energy vampires are relatively simple to detect and combat. They are easiest to detect in the dark; customers should just look for the glowing lights. Common energy vampires include:

  • Televisions
  • Digital video recorders (DVRs)
  • Computers
  • Video game systems
  • Printers, scanners, and fax machines
  • DVD players
  • Coffee-makers
  • Microwaves
  • Cell phone and battery chargers

Invest in a smart strip

The plugs for devices like TVs or entertainment systems sometimes can be hard to reach. A power strip in an easy-to-reach location will enable you to cut off and restore power to these electronics more easily. You can also purchase a power strip with a remote control, or a "smart strip" that will automatically shut off power when a central device is idle — like the computer in your home office or the TV in your entertainment system. Investing in a smart strip and powering down your “vampire devices” is your silver bullet and can save you up to $300 a year on energy costs.

Visit SDG&E’s Marketplace to compare prices on various smarts strips that are on the market today. Marketplace will direct you to a third-party retailer when you’re ready to buy the smart strip that works best for you and your family.

For additional summer conservation tips, visit www.sdge.com/summer.

Editor’s note: this is part of SDG&E’s #10WeeksOfSummer campaign where customers can learn more about how we power San Diego and get tips & tools to help you save money and energy.