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These 'energy vampires' are sucking electricity and costing you money

Posted at 5:50 AM, Oct 29, 2019

BALTIMORE — TVs, cell phones, computers and gaming systems — all of these "energy vampires" could be sucking money straight from your wallet.

According to Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), unplugging appliances and equipment while not in use can help cut down on "standby energy," and can help customers save thousands of dollars a year.

"I love these things. 'Great.' 'Great,'" Lynn Waters said as she read her BGE bill.

She takes pride in her energy efficiency rating because when she sees "great," she knows she's putting money back into her pocket.

Waters views outlets like ATMs, and leaves next to nothing plugged in. She keeps her TVs, lamps and other appliances unplgugged in her home when not in use.

Waters's habits didn't form overnight.

"It started because I did end up retiring ... you go from this amount to down to this amount, so how can I make it work?" Waters said.

She had to look at ways to cut costs several years ago when no matter what she tried, her bill wouldn't budge. She called BGE and insisted on standing with the worker as they read her meter.

"And sure enough, the meter was actually broken," Waters said.

They replaced her meter with a smart meter, and she kept looking at ways to maximize savings.

"So at that point, I kind of got used to keeping things unplugged. If your cellphone is charged in my house, when you unplug your cellphone, you unplug the charger," Waters said.

She had a smart thermostat installed, invested in new windows, put in vent covers, blackout curtains, and leaves little reminders around the house.

These little swaps have brought her bill down around $100 a month with the occasional spike.

"As you can see, my monthly bills they can be like $90, well that one the grandkids were here," Waters said.

Her kids used to look at her like she was crazy. Now, Waters has become a resource for relatives, church friends, and anyone else looking to pay less with the flip of a switch.

Waters created a comprehensive list of tips and tricks. To view her recommendations on ways to save money on your utility bill, click here.

This story was originally published by Mallory Sofastaii on WMAR in Baltimore.