Playing on the Halloween theme, Best Buy has declared today Vampire Awareness Day to draw attention to "vampire power", the electricity squandered by devices while turned off. While I'm not one to parrot a company's PR pitch, I thought this was a cool way to address the costly problem. According to the company , 40% of the electricity used in a household is wasted powering turned-off electronics such at TVs and computers, costing us around $4 billion a year.

The company makes some simple suggestions about how to reduce the vampire power drain on your precious electron flow:

  • Use power strips, and turn them off when the items are not in use.
  • Turn off your computer when not in use.
  • Unplug chargers when not in use. They continue to draw current even when not hooked up to the cell phone or other device they are intended to recharge.
  • Buy Energy Star products that minimize power waste.
  • There are also devices on the market that help minimize vampire power drain, although you should do the math on them to make sure the purchase price exceeds the cost of power saved.

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