Phantoms and Vampires

Phantoms and Vampires

Several months ago I wrote about a new utility program my family has joined that gives us more information about our electricity usage. So on Tuesday we received our bill for the mid-December to mid-January period. On the back of the statement was a helpful reminder about the "energy "vampires" most of have in our homes: appliances that, even when turned "off", are consuming electricity in a stand-by mode. This was something I was aware of but I had not really taken to heart — until I turned the bill over to look at our day-by-day usage.

Even when we are not home, as we were for several days over New Year's, we use as much as 20 kilowatt-hours in one day(with refrigerator, CFL security lights, plug-in clocks, etc.). However, I am pretty mystified by how we could use 20 kWH one day after having used only 13 kWH the previous day — without being home either day to switch on anything that would easily explain the increase.

While I am complating phantom(s), it goes almost without saying that I'm now in the market for some multi-plug surge protectors (without lighted switches) that will make it easier for our family to turn more things (like TV digital converter boxes) completely off when not in use. I hope that will cut down on our vampire load.

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