You may not know it, but there are energy vampires lurking in your home, continuously drawing power and inflating your energy costs all year long. Energy vampires are electronics that drain power and use energy whenever they’re plugged in – even when you’re not actively using them.

“When we waste energy at home, we’re wasting money too,” said Tony Lozano, director of energy solutions at Ameren Missouri. “Often, there are simple modifications, like unplugging chargers when not in use, that can save hundreds of dollars per year.”

Here are some common energy vampires you can slay around your home:

  • Phone and tablet chargers. Chargers continue to draw power, even when they’re not connected to a device. They also consume energy when connected devices are fully charged. Unplugging them could save you as much as $100 per year.
  • Household appliances that use standby power. An easy way to tell if your appliances are using standby power is if they feature a clock or digital display, like coffee makers and microwaves. When not in use, unplug them – or connect them to advanced power strips that can be turned on and off like a light switch. This could save you around $100 per year.
  • Computers and home office equipment. Since more people are working from home than ever before, you may be using additional computers and monitors. Utilize your computer’s built-in sleep mode and energy saving features to save up to $30 per year. To save even more energy, turn off your monitor if you’re not going to use it for more than 20 minutes, and shut down the computer completely if you’re not going to use it for more than two hours.
  • Idle electronics. TVs, video game consoles, DVRs, and DVD and Blu-ray players draw unnecessary energy when they’re left on and paused for long periods. Turn them off or put them in sleep mode when not in use. Many newer TVs and entertainment systems also have timers that will automatically power them down after a set period of idle time; check out the “settings” or “preferences” menus to enable these features.

Make a game out of turning off unnecessary electronics with Ameren Missouri’s interactive Halloween scavenger hunt. Families can explore the house together to find simple tricks to use less energy and save money.

Banishing energy vampires is just one way to reduce energy use. For custom recommendations specific to your home and energy usage habits, use Ameren Missouri’s new Energy Manager tool. This online tool gives customers the power to see the cost of running each appliance, down to the dollar. To access Energy Manager, visit AmerenMissouri.com/MyEnergy or log in to your Ameren Missouri Online Account via desktop or mobile device.

About Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.