Energy Vampires

Today many homes in the Upper Valley will be invaded by witches, ghosts, and vampires. Usually this is the one time of year when we expect these little creatures to come knocking on our doors. We even welcome them with fun decorations and tasty treats. However, what most of us don’t know is that there are actually vampires living in our homes year round!

These vampires are less noticeable than the fanged, caped monsters that visit our homes during Halloween, and they don’t suck blood, they suck electricity.  They are “energy vampires,” and they could be costing you a lot of money throughout the year.

Many appliances and electronics don’t completely power down when we turn them off. Instead, they go into standby mode. While in standby, electronics could be drawing just as much power as when they are in use. Gaming consoles are a great example of a system that can draw nearly the same electricity on or off, though, even things like toaster ovens can be drawing electricity when not in use.

One way to rid your home of energy vampires is by investing in a smart strip. These are surge protectors that will cut off power to multiple electronics when one item is turned off. For example, if you plug your entire entertainment system into a smart strip, whenever you turn off your television, everything else will power down. Another simple way to stop energy vampires is by unplugging items after use.

With a little effort, we can vanquish energy vampires and make sure that Halloween is the only time of year that we’re inviting vampires into our homes!

For more information, check out Efficiency Vermont’s page explaining phantom energy consumption.


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Amanda Charland

Amanda Charland is the General Manager of the Co-op Food Stores. She was first hired as the Co-op's Sustainability Coordinator in 2012, and joined the Co-op Leadership Team as Member Services and Outreach Director in 2014. She earned a Master's Degree in Cooperative Management in 2017, and she was promoted to Director of Cooperative Engagement in 2018. She was hired by the Co-op Board of Directors as General Manager in 2022. Contact her at

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