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Beware of energy vampires this Halloween: unplug unused appliances

TAMPA, October 24, 2017

As zombies and ghosts prepare to invade your neighborhood next week, it's a great time to watch for goblins that may already be lurking inside your house – vampires.

"Energy vampires" are electronics and appliances that constantly use electricity, even when they are not actively being used, such as cell-phone chargers or cable TV boxes. The phantom load created by energy vampires can add up to 10 percent to the average electricity bill, according to national estimates.

But don't fear. October is National Energy Awareness Month, and Tampa Electric wants to remind our customers that with a little common sense – and maybe some garlic – you can drive a stake through the heart of energy vampires and save a few dollars on your power bill:

  • Plug digital video recorders (DVRs) or cable set-top boxes into a power strip – and turn the strip off when they are not in use. (Annual savings = $51)
  • Screen savers are not "green" savers. Turn off your computer and printer if you won't be using them in the next two hours. (Annual savings = $23)
  • Cell phone and tablet chargers use energy, even when not charging a phone. Unplug them and other appliances, like microwave ovens and stereos, when not in use. (Annual savings = $20)

Tampa Electric offers free home energy audits to review other tricks and treats to save money on your power bills. Schedule your audit by calling 813-275-3909.

Tampa Electric has been encouraging sustainability for nearly 40 years. In that time, the company has performed more than 465,000 energy audits that help customers use energy more wisely and become more energy-efficient. In addition to the energy audits, Tampa Electric offers many energy-efficiency programs like free Energy Planner. At the end of 2016, more than 764,000 customers have participated. Today, Tampa Electric offer 36 programs to help residential and business customers reduce their overall energy usage and ultimately their energy costs.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida's largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 750,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon