As of next month, it is estimated that using so-called vampire devices will cost £3.3 billion a year.
Many items in our homes consume enormous amounts of energy, including washing machines, dryers and refrigerators. However, most households are aware of these costs and only use the items when necessary. But many of us forget to pay attention to the small appliances that are constantly plugged in, such as phone chargers, televisions and microwave ovens.
While these devices are often on standby and appear to be turned off, in reality they continue to consume energy. For this reason they are known as ‘vampire devices’.
Why do these devices cost money?
Anything left in the socket consumes energy, even when it’s in standby mode. Common vampire devices include:
Desktop ComputersDisplaysPrintersSatellite BoxesStereo TelevisionsMicrowavesVideo Game ConsolesPhone and Tablet Chargers
In reality, these devices consume only a very small amount of energy when plugged in. However, when multiple devices are left plugged in overnight, they can add huge amounts of money to your utility bill.
According to British Gas, the energy consumption of these appliances makes up 23% of our electricity bill. In the UK, powering these devices is believed to cost a total of £2.2 billion. When the price cap rises in April, this figure will rise to £3.3bn.
At a time when electricity bills are skyrocketing, it’s vital to take steps to reduce your energy consumption. By October 2022, it is predicted that the electrical element of a household’s energy bill could reach £800. If this turns out to be the case, vampire devices alone could cost the average household more than £200 a year.
How can I prevent these devices from costing me money?
Fortunately, the steps you can take to prevent these devices from costing you money are simple and straightforward. Flipping a switch can save you hundreds of dollars a year. So,
When you turn off your television, make sure to unplug the power cord. Install a smart meter so that you can see exactly how much electricity you use at any time of the day and how much that electricity costs you. With this information you can change your consumption. Use extension cords for appliances you usually leave plugged in overnight. By connecting your game console, TV and satellite box to the same extension cord, you can turn all three off with one switch
By taking the steps above, you can save a significant amount of money. After all, a Sky box on standby all the time can cost £73 a year, and each phone charger and TV left plugged in can cost £10. As a result, the costs of vampire devices add up quickly.
How can I save even more on my energy bill?
The new price cap will come into effect on April 1. This will increase the energy bill by 54%. To help with this, the government recently announced a series of measures that will ease the pressure on ailing households.
Unfortunately, apart from the government’s help and following the recent advice from Martin Lewis, there is currently very little you can do to reduce your energy bills. At the moment it is still advisable not to do an energy comparison and not to change supplier. This is because the best energy deals from the country’s top energy suppliers can’t beat the current price cap.
If you are struggling with your energy bill, talk to your supplier in the first instance. If you’re still struggling, there are several support options available.