Over the last year I’ve shared a few ways to create a passive income. But what about creating passive savings? That is, ways to save money without much effort. That’s the idea behind eliminating the pull of dreaded “vampire power” from your household devices.
What Is “Vampire Power?”
The term “Vampire Power” refers to the energy required to power many home electronic devices as long as they are plugged in, even if they are turned “off.” Unfortunately, that includes just about everything that requires being plugged in. Here are a few examples of household appliances draining your wallet while you sleep:
- Cable Box
- DVD Player
- Desktop Computer
- Wireless Router
- Computer Speakers
- Inkjet Printers
- Plasma Televisions (these guys seem to be the worst, according The Department of Energy)
How to Stop Vampire Power?
The silver bullet required to kill vampire power is a smart power strip. These devices monitor electronic appliances and cut power to them when they entire vampire mode. Or, you can go old school and simply plug all appliances into a simple power strip or surge protector and flip it off when not in use. Even older school requires you to simply unplug appliances from the wall outlet when not in use.
One drawback to this method is that devices that need to be on for automation or downloading updates (such as a DVR, router, etc.) may not work properly if manually powered down. Smart strips offer a solution to this problem by setting aside a couple outlets dedicated to an “always on” setting for devices that do need a constant supply or power.
If you don’t want to run every electronic device through a smart power strip, consider picking up an electricity usage monitor such as the Kill-A-Watt EZ. Here’s a portion of the product description from Amazon.com:
Now you can cut your energy costs and find out what appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in. Simply connect these appliances to the Kill A Watt EZ, and it will assess how efficient they really are. Large LCD display will count consumption by the Kilowatt-hour, same as your local utility. Calculate your cumulative electrical expenses and forecast by the day, week, month, even an entire year.
A friend of mine owns one of these and used it to do a power inventory around his house to find the worst culprits pulling “vampire power.” Then he picked up a few smart power strips and placed them around the outlets with devices pulling the most power. The reduced energy costs should easily pay him back for the investment of the monitor and power strips in less than a year.