MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) -- It's not Halloween, but there may be power vampires in your house. These appliances are "sucking up energy," even when not in use.
"We think they may be off, but they are actually not off. They are consuming power because they are plugged in. They are powered," said Gary Horwood, owner of Home Energy Solutions.
The common culprits are phone chargers, home offices, printers, exercise equipment, coffee makers and entertainment systems. The Marquette Board of Light and Power said these little devices come at a big cost.
"Industry research has revealed that the power vampires can be responsible for 10 percent of your power consumption in your home and that can equate over the course of the year, to being a full months' worth of energy bill," said Kevin Downs, the meter department supervisor for Marquette BLP in Michigan.
According to the U.S Department of Energy, 75 percent of appliance energy comes from when the device is turned off. Both the BLP and Home Energy Solutions (HES) suggested people look into censored or automatic power strips that can turn off a whole system when one appliance is turned off or not in use.
"What we are looking for is a little bit of savings by doing a lot of little things," said Horwood. "There's no magic burning bush that's going to save you hundreds of dollars in electricity. It's usually a lot of little things that add up to save us some money."
The BLP said that the average of all the household consumers ranging from singles to full-sized family use about 500 KWH, or kilowatt hour, consumed. Electrical meters track this consumption, but a kilowatt hour monitor can be purchased for the individual to narrow down how much it costs to power each household device.
"We are currently at about 16 cents per kilowatt hour, so if you are consuming 500 kilowatt hour per month times 16 cents, you can see that adds up," said Downs.
HES also said that lighting can be another vampire in your home, depending on the type of bulb used.
"An incandescent bulb is 90 percent efficient as a heater and 10 percent efficient as a light source," said Horwood.
HES advised people to switch over the LED or florescent light sources that use significantly less watts and electricity and last longer.