The Investigators: Vampire Appliances

A toaster oven -- $2.34 a month.

Refrigerator/freezer, 22 cubic feet -- $4.95 a month.

A laser printer, left on stand by -- $11.76 a month!

The TVA -- and MLGW's Energy Doctor Wil Williams -- reveal you could simply unplug a few of your appliances when you're not using them, and it would be cash in your pocket.

"Plasma screen TV's use as much energy as a refrigerator," says Williams to Jean McGhee while on an energy audit of her Cordova apartment.

The audit was a cool cash eye-opener for McGhee, who leaves her plasma TV and two other TV's on all night as a security measure.

"Did you know that it is actually costing you $20.25 a month for leaving a television on AND your plasma screen TV?" Williams asks McGhee.  "If you actually turn this off, or even unplugged it, you could save an extra $6.75 per month."

"I had no idea," says McGhee.

Few people have any idea about what these Vampire Appliances suck from their utility bill each month.

McGhee's computer?  She leaves it on all day long, every day, even when she's at work.

"About $15 a month," announces Williams, zipping through his calculator like a teenager text-messaging.  "By just cutting it back to ten hours a day, you could actually save $5."

Water heaters -- Williams says gas or electric, most people keep them too hot, about 150 degrees.  He says that's both a safety hazard AND an energy-sucker.

He says follow your heater's manufacturer directions or have a HVAC professional dial that down to about 120 degrees.  That can save you $15-20 a month.

Once Williams finished auditing all of McGhee's "vampire" appliances, he determined that they're all costing her about $155.45 a month in wasted energy dollars.

If McGhee follows Williams' advice on unplugging some appliances when not in use, dialing down her water heater, keeping her thermostat at 80 degrees during the warm months and 60 degrees during the winter when she's not at home and leaving her computer on just 10 hours a day...

...she would save $35.59.


"I'm really surprised!" McGhee exclaimed.  "Now I know that I can save more."

You can save more, too.  Link here:

That's TVA's link to your own energy audit!  Click on "Calculator" on the left-hand side and follow directions.  After putting in your profile, you'll be able to nail DOWN TO THE DOLLAR how much each of your appliances sap your utility budget annually.  Then you can make the changes that will save you money!