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New website calculates home energy vampires that drain energy even when not in use

Posted at 4:29 PM, Dec 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-03 10:46:18-05

Wondering what you pay when you are away? Wonder no more.

A new online calculator will show you exactly how much all those "power vampires" in your home are costing you.

We're talking about electronics that drain power 24 hours a day, things that homeowner Andrea Krauth told us a while back were driving her crazy.

"I usually try to turn things off," she said. "Things are still plugged in, but I try to turn lights off." It turns out, however, the lights are the least of the problem.

What is running up your bill

An energy analyst showed us some of the vampires in Krauth's home, such as her coffee maker.

"It is on even when it's not making coffee and its using 6 watts," the analyst told her. The coffee maker costs $1.25 a month, even if she never uses it.

But a bigger surprise was the HDTV and Microsoft XBox in her family room. Even when off, it was drawing 47 watts, which comes to $3.30 a month.

But now you no longer need a watt meter to see what these hidden power hogs are costing you.

Duke Energy's Energy Slayer Calculator — available even if Duke is not your electric provider — shows you what you are paying for all those unused appliances.  (Go to www.duke-energy.com/energyvampire/)

The calculator will tell you that two desktop computers that are left on at all times, going into "sleep" mode, still cost you $50 a year. And that's without actually using them.

Using my home as a guide, I entered three cell phone brick chargers into the calculator and came up with $6 a year, just for leaving those plugged in.

Add a DVR (a major power hog), a cable box, microwave, and several other items, and I calculated I am paying $147 a year for round the clock energy vampires, that I am not using most of the time.

Think I'll turn some lights off, and maybe unplug that coffee maker.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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