Don’t let energy vampires suck you dry

 Your modern TV with remote control may well be using more electricity during the 18 hours a day that it’s turned off than it does while you or the kids are watching it.
 
That’s because the "off" button on many electronic items doesn’t really mean "off" these days; instead, it means "standby" - and go right on guzzling expensive electricity while waiting for someone to press the “on” button again.
 
The worst of these energy vampires, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, are appliances with remote controls like TVs, sound systems and garage door openers; devices with a continuous digital display like DsTV decoders, microwaves and clock radios; chargers for cellphones and MP3 players; and items with external power supplies like inkjet printers and iPod chargers.
 
“And the energy experts say the power invisibly consumed by these devices, often called ‘phantom loads’, can account for as much as 15% of your household electricity usage, costing you thousands of rands a year for no direct benefit.”
 
But the good news is that you can easily do something about it, he notes. In the first place, you should just unplug chargers you aren’t using - and any seldom-used appliance - from the wall socket.
 
Next, plug all the components of your computer or home entertainment system into one multiplug (obtainable from most supermarkets and hardware shops) so you can turn off the whole lot with one switch.
 
And finally, don’t forget to unplug your all your electronic devices when you go away on holiday. This will have the added benefit of protecting them from lighting strikes, too.
 
Issued by Chas Everitt International
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