Vampire Devices 

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Just how can you save money on your electricity bills.

Sometimes one event, quickly followed by another event, can produce an unexpected spark of interest that can lead to yet another that would not have been happened otherwise.  In this case it started off with the arrival of a letter from my current energy supplier regarding a price increase.  While there is nothing special or unusual about that, priced tend to go up rather than down, but within a few days the letter arrival was followed by an email concerning saving money on electricity bills.  How could my interest not be sparked!

The email related to research conducted by British Gas.  This research showed how British householders could reduce their electricity bills by up to 16% and produce a saving of £75 a year.  This was not a call from British Gas to shop around and search for cheaper suppliers.  Instead it was more concerned with dealing with Vampire devices that inhabit your home.  You might immediately think your home does not contain any Vampire devices but you would be wrong.  My initial thoughts were that I was not sharing my home with Vampire devices but, after reading the email, I discovered that I had at least ten energy-eating Vampire devices residing in my dwelling.  Let me explain.

A Vampire device, as identified by British Gas, is an item belonging to the tech family found in our homes that is blatantly draining off electricity while the home owner believes it is quietly sleeping while on standby.  According to British Gas, these Vampire tech devices drain £1.6bn from UK households.  This figure equates to 16%, or £75 per year, of standby feeding. 

So how has this wasteful situation come about?  The British Gas survey reveals that 15% of users are unaware that many household appliances consume power while on standby while 42% admit they only occasionally switch off a device when it is not in use.  For example three popular devices found in most household are "perfect" examples of rarely-off appliances.  These devices are the microwave, games console and coffee machine.

These devices, so integrated into modern day living, are prime examples of potential wastefulness.  Although often used for less than two hours a day, 61% of users stated they would never  turn off the microwave.  76% of gamers, requiring instant access, would not switch off their console when not in use.  With coffee machines, 75% of owners would leave their machine grabbing energy 24/7 to insure they were not immediately denied their dependency on the flavoured liquid.  Even when informed of the possible savings in cost, by better management, some 17% stated they would leave their devices on standby despite the fact they could save money at a slight cost on convenience.

Take a look at the top Vampire devices and what they cost UK households.


% of people who leave appliance on standby when not in use

Average hours left on standby in a 24-hour period

Total cost per year by % on standby

Total Cost per year by % of UK households

Set top box/ satellite





Internet router















Games Console










Smart speakers/ smart home devices















Tumble dryer










Washing machine





Mobile device charger







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