How can I fight power vampires?

Energy vampires – Reduce electricity waste and cost

Did you know that electric devices can continue to use energy even when not be in use?  When equipment is plugged in and left idle, power is drawn from the outlets.  This leads to increasing energy waste and spiked utility bills.  This energy waste is also referred to as “phantom” or “vampire” energy.

Catherine Cronin, Vera Water and Power Communications Manager, explains, “Stand-by power is used when an electronic is consuming energy aside from performing its main function.  Common phantom power culprits include computers, battery chargers, DVD players, and treadmills.”

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation, stand-by power accounts for between 3 and 10 percent of energy costs. Harvard University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report that about 1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions result from phantom energy loads.

Vera Water and Power provides six tips for saving energy and reducing the cost of standby power draws.

  1. When possible, unplug all electronics that are not in use, especially those that you do not use often.
  2. Consider powering down devices rather than leaving them on standby mode for extended periods.
  3. Power strips can aid efficiency as they can turn off all devices that are plugged in with the flip of a switch.
  4. Smart power strips use advanced technology to turn off the power from idle electronics automatically.
  5. When shopping for new electronics, invest in Energy Star products, which have a lower standby rate of energy consumption.
  6. By using an electronic timer, you will be able to reduce the standby load on items used only in select periods of the day, such as coffee pots.