Even as recently as 2009, vampire movies were scary (albeit hokey) movies of the genre “horror flicks.”  Of course with the advent of the Twilight movie at the end of 2009, vampires magically transformed from scary, creepy entities and became impossibly ripped young men who lived a quasi-normal family life and who fight valiantly against their constant thirst for blood from humans, especially their human girlfriends.

It might be shocking to know that you likely have vampires in your home and business right now!  Instead of sucking blood, they are sucking electricity, though.  But they don’t look like the fanged creatures depicted in the movies…walk into a dark room…virtually any room in your home or office…and look around at all the tiny red, blue, green and yellow lights that are on or pulsating…  these are the vampires! The phone charger that you leave in the wall after you remove your phone from it;  the guest bedroom TV set and satellite/cable box that are on though you rarely have guests; the laptop charger plugged into the wall night after night with no laptop attached …or the fully charged phone that is still plugged into the charger.  This includes virtually anything that is turned off or fully charged, but still plugged into a power receptacle.

In your business, think about how many outlets are draining power at night and weekends when most people aren’t there.  This can add a lot of unneeded —- and unnecessary — costs taking away from the bottom line.

I can see that some of you are rolling your eyes…you have other things to be concerned with.  Shocking as it is, vampire power has been estimated to cost you around $175 per year, and emit about 2,000 pounds of CO2.

A study by AT&T when it launched its Zero Charger for cell phones in 2010 determined that if 80% of U.S. wireless subscribers used a charger that automatically disconnected the current when a cell phone was fully charged or when it was unplugged from the charger, enough electricity to power 24,000 homes for a year would be saved! * The savings for your business can be even more.  Many businesses are embracing this option, not just to help the environment, but to save costs and improve the bottom line in this tough economy.

So no stakes or any other kind of violence is needed to kill these vampires.  Just take one, two, or three simple steps:

(1)   Unplug all chargers when not in use

(2)   Unplug other “standby” devices when not in use for long periods, such as the cable box and TV in the guest bedroom

(3)   Buy smart power strips that will provide energy-conserving automatic control of your plugged-in devices for you.

With a combination of all three, you will remove the vampires from your home or business!

Have you used any of these smart power strips?  We’d love to hear your experiences.  Please leave your comments below.
*Calculation based on an active subscriber base of 220 million with plugged in chargers. Total US cell phone subscriber base is 277 million. Total standby electricity waste estimated: 273 million kwh. Electricity consumption data from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (DOE). Method of calculation from US Energy Information Administration. Standby Power Summary Table – http://standby.lbl.gov/summary- table.html, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Formula for estimating energy consumption Energy Savers: Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use,  http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic =10040, US Department of Energy