Beware the appliance vampires that suck electricity — even when they are off

Pacific Gas & Electric warns that Halloween is near, so you’d better beware of vampires. But it is not your blood these vampires are after – it’s your energy bill. Vampire appliances lurk in your home, sucking up electricity day and night. This energy suck can add an extra 10 percent to your monthly utility bill, increasing the average American household’s annual electric bill by $100- $200.

Pressing the off button on an appliance or electronic devices doesn’t mean it stops drawing power. Energy vampires are appliances and devices that still use energy while powered down and they are all over your home.

Stopping an energy vampire doesn’t require a wooden stake or a braid of garlic. It just takes a little awareness of where they might be lurking.

Here’s a Room-By Room Guide to Find the Energy Vampires Sucking Up Electricity


Most appliances with a digital clock are constantly sucking power to keep the time and displays running. Unplug coffee makers, microwaves, and toaster ovens when not in use.

Living room

Flatscreen TVs – are the most unquenchable. The cable box, game consoles, stereos and DVD players also are huge consumers of standby power. Install a smart power strip to make saving energy easy.

Home office

Change the setting on the home computer and unplug the laser printer as well as laptops when not in use.


Look out for alarm clocks (anything with a LED display is a vampire), unplug cell phone and other electronic chargers when not in use.


When finished charging, unplug electric drills, saws, screwdrivers, and other tools.

Tap into the Halloween spirit by spooking energy vampires into giving your utility bill a treat! For even more ways to reduce energy use, check out our energy-saving tips.