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Take the time to unplug this summer


May 24, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Reduce The Use

Does this look like an “energy vampire” to you? If you leave it plugged in after charging your device, it is. For example, only 5 percent of the power drawn by cellphone chargers are actually used to charge phones. The other 95 percent is wasted when you leave it plugged into the wall, but not into your phone. What do to? Unplug your charger when you are not using it or plug everything on a power strip and turn the switch off.

Summer is almost upon us. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the feeling of summer freedom is within reach. There is no season better suited for de-stress and distraction, so plan your vacations, sip your boat drink and relax. Or better yet, turn off your brain and unplug your mind.

However, despite the countless joys of summer, there is one shortcoming of the season: higher than normal power bills. When an ice cold sweet tea and a dive into Lake Moultrie can’t cool you down, blasting the air conditioning throughout the long, hot day may seem like the only option.

While cranking the a/c can be unavoidable, there is a simple trick to balance out your electricity bill: unplugging.

Although this time, it’s not about beach days and cocktails. I’m talking about unplugging the unused appliances scattered around your home. Between the toaster, DVR, hair straighter and phone charger, you can accumulate a hefty bill of “vampire power.”

Vampire power (also called “standby power” or “phantom load") is energy used by appliances that are turned off---but still plugged into a power outlet. It is estimated that vampire devices can suck up to 10 percent of household energy use!

This “lost” electricity is not only wasteful, but is adding to the cost of your power bill, money that should be spent on staying cool, calm and collected during a stifling hot, Southern day.

This summer, take the time to unplug your appliances before you unplug yourself. You can feel less guilty about lowering the a/c to 65 degrees when you have already unplugged your margarita machine.