InvestigatorsMatter for Mallory


These energy vampires are sucking electricity and costing you money

electrical outlet.jpg
Posted at 5:49 AM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 11:36:39-04

BALTIMORE — You may not think twice about the appliances and equipment plugged into your outlets at home, but an Annapolis woman saw instant savings on her monthly bill after unplugging these 'energy vampires.'

BGE is reminding customers to be mindful of things that use vampire energy, or standby energy, that's drawn from appliances or equipment such as TVs, cellphones, computers, printers or gaming systems.

Unplugging these things may seem like more of a hassle than a return, but Lynn Waters has saved thousands of dollars in the last several years after trying out some cost-saving measures.

“I love these things. 'Great.' 'Great,'” said Waters reading her BGE bill.

She takes pride in her energy efficiency rating because when she sees “Great,” she knows she’s putting money back into her pocket.

“This is my bill from January 2018, I had a credit,” said Waters.

She views outlets like ATMs and leaves next to nothing plugged in.

“This TV is unplugged, TVs upstairs are unplugged. I do have to keep the cable boxes plugged up because I have to for updates. Lamps like this one here is unplugged,” said Waters.

Waters's habits didn't form overnight.

“It started because I did end up retiring and money you go from this amount to down to this amount so how can I make it work,” said Waters.

And she had to look at ways to cut costs several years ago when no matter what she tried, her bill wouldn't budge. She called BGE and insisted on standing with the worker as they read her meter.

“And sure enough, the meter was actually broke,” Waters said.

They replaced her meter with a smart meter, and she kept looking at ways to maximize savings.

“So at that point, I kind of got used to keeping things unplugged. If your cellphone is charged in my house, when you unplug your cellphone, you unplug the charger,” said Waters.

She had a smart thermostat installed, invested in new windows, put in vent covers, blackout curtains, and leaves little reminders around the house.

These little swaps have brought her bill down around $100 a month with the occasional spike.

“As you can see, my monthly bills they can be like $90, well that one the grandkids were here,” said Waters.

Her kids used to look at her like she was crazy, and now, Waters has become a resource for relatives, church friends, and anyone else looking to pay less with the flip of a switch.

BGE also offers Quick Home Energy Check-ups where a licensed professional will come to your home, for no additional fee, and show you potential cost-cutting measures such as using power strips, changing your air filter, installing LED bulbs and low flow shower heads.

READ MORE: BGE says this service will save you money and energy, and you've already paid for it

Waters also recommends taking advantage of BGE budget billing, so you're never surprised by your monthly bill.

And she created a comprehensive list of tips and tricks. To view her recommendations on ways to save money on your utility bill, click here.

BGE's tips on ways to take a bite out of energy vampires:

  • Use a power strip with an on/off switch to completely power down electronics around your home.
  • Unplug your mobile phone charger, portable music player or other electronics once they are fully charged.
  • Turn off all the lights when you leave the room.
  • When preparing for out-of-town travel, always unplug all nonessential devices.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances, electronics and other products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

And click here to learn more about scheduling a BGE Quick Home Energy Check-up.

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