Vampire Energy - Beware the Devices Draining Your Home’s Power

Jan 12th 23

Vampire Energy - Beware the Devices Draining Your Home’s Power

This article is brought to you by Sunnova & Infinity Energy

Although it sounds mythical, vampire energy is a real, legitimate problem that is haunting electricity bills all over the world.

In this guide, we’ll define vampire energy, showcase its significance, and demonstrate all of the ways that you can ward off its negative consequences.

What is vampire energy?

Also known as “phantom power” or “standby power,” vampire energy can be defined as any electricity that a device or appliance consumes while it is not in use.

Essentially, if there is something in your home that is plugged into the wall, it may still be consuming “vampire energy” even when idle or turned off completely.

Some of the largest consumers of vampire energy include:

  • Cell phone chargers
  • computers
  • media players
  • cable boxes
  • video game consoles
  • kitchen appliances; coffee makers, microwaves, and toasters.

Why is vampire energy a big deal?

Operating in stealth like a true creature of the night, vampire energy often affects homeowners more than they may realize.

In the United States, phantom power can account for as much as 20% of a home’s electricity bills. While the average American household pays just over $120 per month for electricity, vampire energy can easily account for hundreds of dollars per year in unnecessary expenses for unsuspecting homeowners.

Costs aside, phantom energy is wasted energy, which carries plenty of consequences outside of personal finances alone. In parts of the country where electricity is generated from fossil fuels, unplugging devices that consume phantom power can directly reduce local carbon emissions for the betterment of the surrounding air quality and to help meet greater environmental goals.

On top of costs and carbon emissions, conserving electricity by avoiding phantom power can also help reduce stress on local energy grids. With widespread efforts to cut back on wasted electricity consumption, less power, upkeep, and costs may be necessary for utilities to meet their local energy demands and maintain the supporting infrastructure. At scale, this can help prevent electricity rates from escalating if sustained increases in energy demand can be avoided.

Essentially, by cutting back on vampire energy consumption and helping others do the same, you can directly benefit your bank account, community, and the planet.

How to Eliminate Vampire Energy Consumption at Home

Feel free to put away your garlic or crucifix, as neither will be necessary to prevent vampire energy consumption on your property. Instead, there are many easy ways to avoid unnecessary electricity expenses, carbon emissions, and energy grid strain without making dramatic changes to your home or lifestyle.

While households with large electricity demands can certainly benefit from a professional home energy audit or plug-in power monitor, here are three key things that anyone can do to lessen and eliminate vampire energy consumption on their property.

1. Unplug Anything that is Not in Use

Already second nature to some energy savers out there, simply unplugging any device that is not in use is the best way to prevent phantom power from being consumed. Although not every device is capable of drawing vampire energy, electronics, kitchen appliances, and anything with a digital display or remote control should all be unplugged when not in use.

To make it easier for yourself, most homeowners find that plugging vampire energy-consuming devices into a power strip or surge protector can help to automatically shut off multiple culprits at once. While some surge protectors can detect idle electronics and prevent them from drawing electricity while not in use, turning off power strips is the best way to definitively stop any vampire energy from being consumed.

2. Upgrade Old Appliances to Energy-Efficient Devices

As unplugging and switching off power strips can be a chore (especially in hard-to-reach places), many of today’s smartest devices have built-in features to avoid phantom energy consumption. As part of a larger effort for sustainable living in the United States, there are many incentives and rebates for ENERGY STAR-certified products, large and small, with these features.

From LED light bulbs to upgraded air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, and more, switching to energy-efficient appliances can help cut back on both ordinary and vampiric electricity consumption on your property. Although some investment is always required to purchase new appliances, savings on energy bills can help pay back these initial expenses.

3. Get Smart About Your Home Power Use

Like staying fit or eating healthy, eliminating vampire energy takes time, effort, and routine to maximize your results. Thankfully, to make it easy for yourself, there are many automated ways to incorporate smart technologies in your favor.

On computers, televisions, and other appliances, you can cut back on phantom power by engaging any “sleep modes” or “self-shut-off” settings at your disposal. Even further, adding smart plugs to dedicated outlets throughout your home can help you control phantom power consumption either through voice commands, automatic timed shutdown, or directly from your mobile device.

Bonus Savings: Go Solar

While going solar doesn’t actually help eliminate vampire energy consumption, it can do a lot to help mitigate its negative effects. By producing renewable energy onsite with solar panels, homeowners can significantly cut back on grid electricity to save money on the monthly costs associated with both ordinary and phantom power consumption.

Generated without producing any carbon or greenhouse gas emissions, it is also comforting to know that any vampire electricity fueled by solar power will not carry the adverse environmental effects of wasted fossil fuel energy.


Ultimately, vampire energy is a concern that should be at the top of every homeowner’s list of ways to save money on monthly expenses.

By taking the right precautions and adopting consistent saving habits, avoiding vampire energy can help you save hundreds of dollars every year on electricity expenses, while also reducing unnecessary carbon emissions and stress on your local power grid.

If you’re worried about energy expenses for your home, going solar is one of the best ways to reduce the long-term costs of residential electricity. For more information on how much you can save, allow us to help you discover if solar is right for you.

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