Have you ever read your energy bill and wondered “Hmm… this seems a bit high, something can’t be right here.” Then you might want to keep reading. Nowadays, many consumers passively inflate their electric bills each month through common household items they may not have thought of, or even realized how much energy it actually uses, even when it’s “turned off”. This is what is commonly referred to as “ghost energy” or “phantom energy”.
Being aware of these devices is half the battle, and Discount Power has done the homework so you can help reduce your ghost energy usage, and in turn, reduce the energy bills that may be associated.
Shutting appliances and electronics off, and in some cases unplugging them when you’re not using them, is a great start when it comes to saving energy and saving money on your monthly bill.
Obviously, some appliances and electronics in your home cannot be turned off or unplugged, such as your refrigerator or freezer. But, aside from the essentials, there are some other “energy vampires” in your home that you can easily turn off or unplug rather than leave on stand-by so they stop sucking the energy from your home and driving up your energy bills while you’re at work or away. Doing this can save you up to $200 a year! In some homes, that’s like getting a month’s worth of energy for FREE!
Did you know that TVs can use more than 50 watts of electricity when they’re turned off? And that’s just the TV itself. Your cable or DSL modem it’s connected to may use up to 8 watts continuously. The cable or satellite set-top box likely uses between 25 and 35 watts continuously. A DVR unit may draw as much as 30 watts. None of that sounds like “off” to us! Unplugging your television and some of these other items when you’re not using them can save close to $70 or more a year on your electric bill.
How many of us keep phone chargers plugged in at charging stations and other convenient spots around the home? They are also energy vampires. Today’s smartphones charge much faster than they did just a few years ago. Some fast-charging phones can go from low battery to fully charged in under an hour. Instead of charging your phone overnight, charge it during dinner (when you should be focused on the food and your family, anyway) or for a while before bed. Leaving tablets or phones plugged in overnight causes hour and hours of passive energy use. While your device sits at 100% battery, that electric energy is still cycling through it, which can damage the battery itself, and drive up unnecessary electric costs alongside it.
Your kitchen may be chocked full of little energy-users. The most common ones are your coffeemaker, toaster and blender, as well as other less frequently-used small appliances such as food processors, multicookers and stand mixers. Get into the habit of unplugging them when you’re done using them, as many will continue to use a moderate amount of energy even when they’re idle.
Logging off, locking your screen, or letting your computer go into sleep mode makes getting back online easy, we all know that. But doing that drives up your electricity usage and your energy bills. Instead, shut down your computer when you’re not using it. And make shutting it down before you go to sleep part of your bedtime routine. This goes for your printer, speakers, or supplemental pieces connected to it as well.
Turning off lamps and fans when not using them, or before bed, is great, but you can do even more. Unplug fans and lights before bed, or when you’re not going to be in those rooms for a good part of the day. Unplugging them means they’re not using electricity while waiting for you to return and turn them on.
During the winter months, many homeowners rely on space heaters. NEVER leave them unattended while they’re on, especially overnight. Turn them off and unplug them every time you leave the room, even if you think you’ll only be gone for “just a minute.” That’s important for home safety as well as energy savings.
Using timers on lights and other items around your home, such as heat or UV lights in enclosures for pets such as reptiles, can help you keep your energy usage down, because they’ll shut off the lights when you forget to.
One way to gain more control over your energy costs starts with your energy bill itself. Take a closer look at it. What kind of energy rate do you have? A variable-rate from your utility company can create wild fluctuations in your energy costs based on what the energy markets are doing. If you’re noticing this, consider switching to a fixed-price energy plan that locks in the price you pay for your energy for a set term. At Discount Power, you get to choose which term works best for you. We offer energy plans at three, six, nine, or 12 months, and even longer!
Discount Power knows saving energy isn’t just good for your energy bills, it’s good for the planet, too! Get in touch with us to find out more about locking in your electric rates, or about our 100% wind-powered Green Energy options!