What are “electric vampires” and how to combat them?

Home appliances that continue to draw power even when switched off are referred to as “energy vampires.” This term is aptly applied because these devices consume electricity without providing any benefit, leading to higher electricity bills and environmental impact. In this article, we will explain to you which are the three most recognized electrical vampires and how to reduce your energy consumption at home.


Modern televisions are usually in standby mode when turned off so that they can turn on quickly when the power button is pressed. However, this action can substantially increase energy consumption.

According to some studies, a television in standby mode can consume up to 10% of the energy it uses under normal operating conditions. This represents unnecessary electricity consumption that can be easily avoided. The simplest solution is to unplug the TV from the power outlet when it will not be used for a long time. Another option is to use a smart plug that cuts power to the TV with a command made from your smartphone.

Electric coffe maker

The electric coffee maker is an increasingly common appliance in homes, but its constant use can increase the electricity bill. Like the television, if the coffee maker remains plugged in to keep freshly brewed coffee warm, it consumes an average of around a thousand watts per hour. Therefore, to save energy and thus reduce electricity costs in the home, it is recommended to turn it off and turn it on again when needed.

Additionally, it should be noted that some coffee makers have an automatic shut-off feature that activates after a period of inactivity. This function can be useful to avoid unnecessary consumption, but it can also cause the coffee maker to turn on by itself when it detects a voltage variation in the electrical network. Therefore, it is best to unplug the coffee maker when it is not needed.


The microwave is one of the appliances we use most in the kitchen, so it generally works in standby mode. However, incorrect use of this operating mode can significantly increase energy consumption, namely leaving it with the door open.

A microwave turned off but with the door open can consume 25 watts per hour, while if the door is closed, consumption is reduced to four watts per hour. Therefore, it is important to keep the door closed when the microwave is not in use to save energy and reduce electricity costs. Another way to avoid using unnecessary energy from the microwave is to unplug it from the outlet when it is not going to be used. This prevents the clock and control panel from continuing to consume energy unnecessarily.

Use smart plugs to combat “electric vampires”

These are just a few examples of energy-consuming appliances turned off. There are many more, such as computers, video game consoles, phone chargers or audio and video devices.

To identify them, you can check if they have any light or sound indicators that show that they are in standby mode. You can also choose to use smart plugs that allow you to control the power supply of these devices with voice commands or taps on the phone screen. With this measure, in addition to benefiting your pocket, you will be contributing to caring for the environment and combating climate change.

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