For Immediate Release: Oct. 28, 2009
Media Contact: Michele Demetras - 916-654-4989


Don't Let the "Vampire" Drain Your Energy This Halloween!

(SACRAMENTO) Looking for a way to cut energy use, as well as your electricity bill? Let this Halloween be a reminder that you may have so-called "vampire" energy waste taking place in your home.

These vampires are appliances left plugged in - even when they are not in use they are pulling power - and they consist of battery chargers, telephone answering machines, microwave ovens, televisions, computers, satellite systems, photocopiers, and a host of others. Characterized by their red or blue "standby" lights, you can identify the vampires easily throughout your house.

"Doing an energy audit in your house is a great way to find out if you've got vampires," said Karen Douglas, Chairman of the California Energy Commission. "It's also a good way to get kids involved in energy conservation efforts."

The typical home has about 50 of these power consumers, which represent between five and eight percent of a household's total electricity use per year. Although singly they do not constitute a huge amount, if combined with every other household in the U.S., vampires consume approximately 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. This lost vampire energy represents the electricity generated in the U.S. by about 35 power plants, or nearly 95 billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the air.

The average household could save up to $85 per year by unplugging electrical appliances not in use. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a television with a remote control device may use more energy during the 20 hours it is turned off than it does for the four hours you watch it in the evening. Since energy conservation is such an important component of California's overall energy plan, you can further the cause by unplugging appliances directly from the wall when you are not using them. By turning off the switch on power strips hooked up to computers, internet modems, fax machines, and copiers, you can make it very simple. Turning off your computer monitor during the day, even with your computer still on, can save much more energy than a screensaver. Remember to unplug telephone, toothbrush, PDA, and portable tool chargers from the wall when not in use.

By paying attention to those forgotten energy consumers, you can put a stake in the vampire this Halloween!

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