ENERGY VAMPIRE FIGHTING
Just in time for Halloween, here’s how you can put a stake through the heart of wasted energy and do anther little bit in the fight against something scarier than ghosts and goblins, climate change.
Slaying the Energy Vampires
Eileen Gunn, October 25, 2007 (The Street)
Energy Vampires, The Cornell University Cooperative Extension, The TerraPass blog, Ecogeek.org
Would this make a good Halloween costume? Or would everybody recognize you right away?
Energy Vampires gadgets and appliances that use power even when they're turned off, upping utility bills and generating greenhouse gases. The typical home has 20 Energy Vampires, 13% of this author’s bill.
Home electronics use 75% of their total electricity consumption WHILE THEY ARE TURNED OFF!
- Homes and offices.
- Low tech Vampire-spotter (from The TerraPass blog): Items that feel warm when not in use are wasting power.
- High tech Vampire-spotter: Kill-A-Watt EZ, an electricity usage calculator.
- Kill-A-Watt is easy to use, costs $60 online.
- IPod, cordless phone and cell phone chargers don’t consume much.
- Cable box uses the same amount of energy on or off. TV guzzles power in standby. DVD player uses 50% as much energy off as when used. Printer uses 88% of energy when off as when on. Plugged-in laptop uses as much energywhether charging or not. Desktop costs nearly $15/month on standby.
- High Tech solution: “Wholehouse Switch” (see Ecogeek.org) at front door. Costs $1100. Takes $30/month savings to pay off in 3 years.
The Kill-A-Watt EZ.
Author: “For a lower-tech and lower-cost approach, do what my husband and I did: We've taken our [router and cable modem], which cost $2.61 a month combined when left running perpetually, and put them on a power strip that we turn off when we go away. We'll do the same for the TV, DVD and cable box -- and no more leaving the TV on standby…Turning off the power strips in our home offices when we go away can't hurt either. More important, we'll be turning off our computers and printers at night. And we won't leave our cell-phones and laptops dangling on their power cords for hours after they're recharged.”