How to save energy with your appliances Your everyday appliances can eat up a lot of your home's energy, not to mention your money. Learn quick and helpful ways you and your family can conserve energy. By Craig and Marc Kielburger ©iStockphoto.com/Elena Elisseeva There's a vampire stalking your home and we're not talking about those mournful, sparkly types from Twilight. This is something far more sinister: Vampire power. That's the energy your appliances suck off the power grid without you even knowing about it. Think plasma TVs, laptops, cell phone chargers and the constantly ticking microwave clock -- just for starters. It's a huge waste of energy! How much energy are you wasting? Stats estimate that as much as 10 per cent of home electricity is wasted through leaky sockets and appliances. We know how much it stings when you lose money in your jacket. So, think about all the money and electricity you've wasted without your knowledge. You might have been a millionaire by now. Well, not really, but the problem is getting worse. Every year we buy more appliances, video game consoles and chargers; four billion cell phone chargers are sold every year. This means even more little plugs to siphon off our pennies. Don't think you can outsmart it by putting your Wii console on standby mode, and the same goes for appliances that are fully charged or turned off. Power is still trickling out as long as an appliance is plugged in, consuming anywhere from two to 20 watts of energy, which makes for one huge power suck. With something so simple to unplug, this is one beast that's easy to slay. Ways to save energy with electrical appliances: • Buy a power bar with an on-off switch to kill the power on multiple appliances with one switch. • Dim the light on your TV and computer screen. • Kill the quick-start button on your remote controls. • Don't bother with stand-by mode; it still sucks power until you hit the switch. • Consult cnet.com for tips on energy-efficient TV models. • Look for Energy Star-rated appliances when you’re in the market for a new electronic. Excerpted from the book Living Me to We: The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians © 2012 by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, published by Me to We. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. Illustration by TurnStyle Imaging.