Keep energy vampires from sucking away your money

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  • The average U.S. household spends $100 a year on plugged-in electronics not in use

  • Use the Energy Slayer Calculator to help unplug electronic devices and save money

CHARLOTTE, N.C., -- Even when they aren't switched to the "on" position, energy vampires − TVs, laptops, cellphones, chargers and even coffee makers − are slowly draining electricity and money from your wallet.

Together, these power-sucking appliances can account for up to 20 percent of annual costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, consumers can save as much as 10 percent by identifying and unplugging energy vampires.

"Energy vampires can be found in every room in your house," said Kevin Bright, managing director of customer efficiency programs for Duke Energy. "Simply unplugging devices when not in use can help you better manage your energy use and monthly savings."

Here are some tips that can help take a bite out of your bill:

  • Use the Energy Slayer Calculator to help unplug electronic devices and save money.
  • Turn off your lights at night to see where energy vampires lurk. Standby lights on electronics, such as TVs, cable boxes, DVRs and MP3 players, are telltale signs that your power is slowly draining even though the product isn't in use.
  • Unplug devices when you're not using them, including adapters for battery-powered gizmos that are not connected or are fully charged. Also, set your computers and other equipment to an energy-efficient mode.
  • Plug devices and equipment, including adapters, into power strips. This makes it easier to turn them off with a single switch. You can even buy "smart" power strips that automatically turn off power to devices that aren't in use.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing new appliances. ENERGY STAR appliances can use up to half as much energy to perform their normal duties.
  • Avoid buying products that include "bells and whistles" you don't need. Some of these extra features may waste energy.

Duke Energy also offers free in-home energy assessments through its Home Energy House Call program. The assessment is designed to help customers learn more about their energy use and offer specific ways to lower monthly energy bills. A trained energy specialist inspects the home, at the convenience of the customer, checks for air leaks and examines insulation levels as well as appliances and the heating/cooling system. Duke Energy customers can sign up at

Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

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Contact: Grace Rountree
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