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So what can you do?

The best way is to unplug these energy vampires when they're not in use. Here are some ideas to keep the vampires from gorging on the electricity supplied to your home.

  1. The easiest thing to do is to plug a group of items - for example, cell phone chargers - into a power strip with an on/off switch. The last person to unplug their cellphone from the charger, flips the power switch off. Now all of these vampires can't suck any electricity just hanging around waiting for a cellphone to be plugged back in.
  2. The same can be done for entertainment equipment, such as video game system, DVD player, TV or audio system, particularly if it uses a remote control or has digital display. When you're done playing games, just flip that power strip off and anything plugged into it can't feed on power. However, pulling the plug isn't practical for electronics with clocks. If you unplug them, the clocks must be reset.
  3. A power strip is also a great solution for items whose plugs may be difficult to reach. You don't want to crawl under your desk to disconnect all of your computer components when you can plug them all into one power strip that you can turn off with one simple flick of your finger. Be sure to use a power strip that's design for computer equiptment, and be careful when pulling plugs that are hard to reach. Never remove a plug from an outlet by pulling directly on the cord.
  4. Don't leave your electric toothbrush plugged in all the time. Unplug it as soon as it's fully charged.

  5. Power tools or electrical items stored in the garage should be unplugged until needed. The cordless hand vacuum napping over in the corner might be costing you money if it's plugged in, just waiting for the next time it's used. The same goes for power tools. If they are rechargeable, pull the plug as soon as the battery is charged. Otherwise, unplug all tools not in use.

Anything that can be unplugged - without causing to much grief or inconvenience on you or your family - should be. Starving energy vampires in your home will save energy, reduce pollution, and save your household money.

Over a short period of time, you and your family could save enough money to go see a movie. Dracula, anyone?

Have a cool idea? Send it to us at: quester@energy.state.ca.us and we might add it to the above list.



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Page updated: September 22, 2006
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