Beware of the energy-sucking vampires in your home, ComEd warns

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — They lurk in the dark in your kitchen, your living room and even in your bedroom while you sleep. They look like little glowing red fangs, on televisions, game consoles and other household electronics and appliances. You may know them as standby lights, but ComEd wants you to be aware that these lights are pesky little energy stealers also known as power vampires.

Here’s a scary thought: power vampires draw small amounts of electricity whether your electronic device is on or off. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power plugged-in electronics and appliances while they are off or in standby mode.

Many of the most common home electronics, such as computers and some kitchen appliances, are the biggest energy guzzlers,” said George Malek, director of Energy Efficiency Services, ComEd. “These electronics waste energy when they are left plugged in and can be as much as 10 percent of a home’s overall energy usage.”

We want to ensure our customers are aware of power vampires and how they can slay them to better manage their energy usage and save money. ComEd offers its customers the following tips on how to banish these electric-sucking nightmares from their homes forever:

· Unplug electronics when they are not in use to save electricity. One of the biggest energy uses for most home electronics is the power used while in “standby” mode. You might be surprised to learn that consumer electronics can use up to 40 percent of their electricity while devices are turned off or in “standby” mode.

· Use a power strip with an on/off switch to fully power down home electronics (such as TVs, DVD players, video game consoles) while in standby mode.

· Unplug chargers when not in use (this includes cell phone chargers, camera chargers or power adapters) because they still draw energy when they are plugged in.

· Turn off computers and monitors when not in use. Alternatively, set automatic switching to hibernation or sleep mode rather than using screen savers, which generally do not save energy.

· Turn off video game consoles whenever possible. A good option is to use the power management features already built in to your device.

· Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances, electronics and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more energy-saving tips, tools and rebates, visit or call 855-IDEAS-00 (855-433-2700).

Posted Oct. 31, 2014

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