They Call it “Vampire Energy”
Little do consumers realize that most electronic devices are using up energy as long as they are plugged in. That means that your TV and home theater are wasting power while they are turned off. The popular term for this quiet energy consumption is Vampire Energy. There has certainly been a recent increase in public awareness of vampire energy, but most people are still throwing away a lot of money on their electricity bill because of electronics that they are not even using. In the simplest sense, the wasted power consumption is caused by the process of transforming electrical currents for AC to DC (the black box attached to the cord that heats up and wastes power in the process) and by more advanced devices like televisions, video game consoles, and desktop computers which contain on-board circuits that basically have to tell themselves to “Stay Off, Stay Off, Stay Off…” as long as they are connected to the power grid. When you press the power button on you TV, you are not connecting/disconnecting the power but merely telling the device that is should turn the screen on/off. The convenience of being able to turn on your TV with a remote costs consumers in the form of vampire energy waste. Researchers have estimated that, in the U.S., wasted vampire energy accounts for over 4% of all the energy consumption. At first, 4% doesn’t sound like an awesome figure, but 4% of our energy consuption menas 100 million tons of oil each year. And since the U.S. uses more energy than any other country on earth, 4% of U.S. energy consumption translates to 1% of all the energy used in the entire world. Remember that we are talking about electrical devices that are, for all intents and purposes, turned off.
This image first appeared in a 2007 edition of Good Magazine as a comprehensive introduction to the significance of vampire energy. The figure shows some easy to understand stats about the costs of vampire energy. It should be quite apparent that once you add up the costs of all the electonic devices and appliances, vampire energy has a noteworth impact on the energy consumption of homes across the country. Until designs begin to adress the energy wasting character of devices, comsumers can take simple and hands-on steps to eleminate vampire energy in their homes. The best option is to install additional switches (next to the light swithes in every room) that connect and disconnect (turn on/off) all the wall outlets in the vacinity. If you use power strips or serge protectors for your most energy consuming devices, another simple solution is to turn off or unplug these outlets when they are not being used. This effort may feel tedious or inconvineint, but it is guaranteed to reduce the energy costs of your home and that means saving money on your next electricity bill. There is sure to be vampire energy in your home and it is up to you to eleminate the wasted power consumption.This entry was posted by in Conservation, To Learn, Uncategorized and tagged conservation, consume, electricity, electricity bill, electronics, home, oil, vampire energy, waste.