You may not know it, but households across the globe are infested with vampires. Energy vampires, that is. Cleverly disguised as innocuous household appliances (psst, your television is one of them), their nasty pointed teeth plunge deep into your wall socket, draining power all hours of the day and night, even after you’ve switched them off. (Americans pay $1 billion a year to power our televisions and VCRs while they’re turned off.) Other sleeper agents of the electric undead that consume 1,000 kilowatt hours a year per household, while in standby mode: your toaster, coffeemaker, hair dryer, PC, printer, cable box, and cell phone charger. You don’t have to live in a constant state of fear, however, forever checking behind your back for that one appliance you forgot to pull the plug of. Just plug adjacent equipment into power strips with surge protectors, and before you crawl under the safety of your covers-or head out to work-simply flip the switch.