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Energy Vampire Numero Uno is Your Cable Box!

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Even if you can turn off the game, the cable box is the second-worst energy vampire in your home.
Even if you can turn off the game, the cable box is the second-worst energy vampire in your home.

The modern home is full of electrical and electronic devices, just about all of which are energy vampires, that is, they continue to use electricity even when you shut them off.

The difference can be quite surprising, and energy vampires hide where you least expect it. We expect a refrigerator to continuously run, since it needs to keep your food cool, and sports fans really appreciate it, especially this year, as they run from the fridge to grab an ice cold Budweiser (official World Cup sponsor) and head back to the television to catch the next “Gooooooollllllllllll!!!” You would surely be disappointed if the fridge was actually shutting off every time you closed the door, but refrigerators have also become very efficient, and use less electricity then some other items in the home, especially today’s energy vampire, the cable box.

Watching the World Cup, if you’re one of the 700 million-plus that watch it on television, may come to you through a cable box. You’d figure that, if you watched all 64 matches, you’d see a considerable jump in your electricity bill. After all, the television, home theatre system, and cable box are working overtime with all those matches. At night, you’ll shut them all off and dream fútbol, but these energy vampires will continue to suck electrons all night long, until the next time you turn them on. According to some recent research, the cable box is the biggest energy vampire of them all.

So-called “Energy Star” appliances are available for every section of the home, including laptops, refrigerators, even air conditioners and televisions, but the second-biggest energy vampire is still the cable box, second only to air conditioners in consumption! When you “turn off” the cable box, it actually, if you note well, goes into “standby mode,” meaning that it is still working and using electricity to update software, download content, among other things. In fact, in “standby,” cable boxes use nearly as much energy as when they’re “on,” using up to 35 kWh/mo. Maybe someone should take a look at these energy vampires before they dare to put on a climate-change-debunking mockumentary?

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