Watch for vampires

Energy Vampires (devices that draw electricity from the mains when they are not being used) can add 10% or more to electric bills.

It may seem an odd thing to say, but the modern world we live in has devices that use a small amount of electricity to maintain their functioning. The EU states that devices from 2010 should draw no more than 1W per hour of power in standby and from 2013 should draw no more than 0.5W per hour. So what are the offenders?

In 2014, the government made a video showing vampire devices drawing up to £86 per year from the average UK homeowner, which from the April price increase equates to £185.

Biggest offenders

A HiFi system left on standby and Sky TV boxes have been found to cost the consumer £120* each per year in vampire energy.

Laptop chargers can use up to £92 per year.

TV on standby can use up to £40 per year.

Printers on standby can use up to £15 per year.

Computers depending on their age have different amounts of power consumption with sleep drawing 3-10w (equating to £5-17 per year) of power and standby (shut down) drawing 0.5-1w (£1-2 per year)

The amount of power each device uses when running can be found at the Electrical Safety First website.

*Adjusted to April 2022 figures.

7 day mechanical timer for controlling devices with a pass through UK power socket

Saving money

Cheap mechanical or digital timers make it easy to set a time when these devices are completely switched off to save energy. Also remote controlled switches make it easy to turn off devices when they aren’t needed.

Avoid cooker taps

Unless you are boiling water excessively through the day, cooker taps are not worth their excessive cost. A Which? report into these taps found that the cost of £950 for the basic unit vs a £17 cheap kettle could cost you £960 in the first year compared to £56 including the electricity the tap and kettle would draw, making them an expensive purchase that isn’t a huge benefit.

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