Survive a zombie attack this Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner…and the folks at WTU Retail Energy have their costumes ready and are honing their survival skills against zombies as they tune in one of their favorite shows, AMC’s The Walking Dead. So they put our heads together, literally picking them off the floor, to help pass on some basic survival skills, in case of a zombie apocalypse.First, you’ll need to recognize said creatures. Then, you’ll need to spot any subtle infiltrations by them. You’ve seen zombies, maybe taking the form of your spouse or children, before…undead corpses dragging their feet as they enter the home. Moaning unintelligible garble. Seemingly zapped of all energy. They stagger in, turning lights and appliances on. Then, they go for the kill – they open the refrigerator door and blankly stare for minutes on end.Yes, you have guessed it. You’ve been caught up in the apocalypse of the undead. These zombies are of another breed. Mostly, they suffer from boredom and a lack of knowledge about energy conservancy.Then there are the subtle infiltrations that make you believe all is well, but then attack when you receive your monthly electricity bill.If your DVD player has that evil green or red glow, even when you've turned it off, then you are in the midst of a zombie attack. If your cellphone or iPod stays plugged into its charger after it has finished charging, then zombie electronics have infiltrated your home.And, if you set your computer to "sleep mode," trust us, it's not sleeping. It's devouring energy and it's costing you money.Zombie electronics have worked their way into homes across the country. They are infecting our electric bills and their insatiable appetites are eating our budget. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off. In each U.S. home, some 10 to 50 zombie devices are accumulating about 10 percent of your electric bill.“As a competitive energy supplier, we owe our customers more than a bill at the end of the month,” said Jim Steffes, vice president and general manager for WTU Retail Energy. “We want to be considered an energy partner, providing our customers with the information, tools and resources they need to effectively manage their energy consumption.”Unplugging these chargers or appliances not only can save you money month to month, but so much more in the long run, said Terry Hadley, a spokesman for the Public Utility Commission of Texas.“By lessening the demand on the state’s electric grid, particularly during peak hours, people can avoid the need to build more power plants,” Hadley said. “That helps mitigate our carbon footprint and saves money, because every power plant out there costs consumers money as the cost of running them is factored into your electric bill.”It's time for us to stand our ground and fight back against zombie attacks!Tips for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse• Look for the Energy Star logo when shopping for new appliances.• Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point. It will completely disconnect the power supply and terminate the zombie infiltration.• Unplug chargers to cell phones, cameras, batteries and power adapter when not in use, as they still eat up energy.• Unplug all major appliances when heading out on vacation. Even when devices such as the microwave, stove and washing machine aren't in use their LED panels continue to devour energy.• Manually turning computer monitors off saves more electricity than a screen saver.• Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries is more cost effective than throwing away batteries.• A remote-control, power-switching device helps when your power strips lie behind large entertainment centers or hard-to-reach places.• Rather than leaving a light on to deter burglars, install a timer. This way your lights are on for only a short period rather than all day.• Ensure your attic is property ventilated to prevent ice dams from forming.• Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use less electricity.