Vampire Power vs Energy Efficiency

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Energy-efficiency is more than a buzzword, it is a combination of practices and the use of products that use a minimal amount of energy to complete a task.  Unfortunately, no matter how energy-efficient the appliance or device, if it is plugged into an electrical outlet, it may be costing a homeowner money.

This wasted energy is technically called “standby power” but is commonly referred to as “vampire electricity”.

According to numerous studies, vampire electricity accounts up to 10% of all the energy consumed within the household. Based on these calculations in 2011, the amount of energy wasted by vampire electricity in the United States was higher than the total energy consumption of both Greece & Switzerland combined[1]. Many appliances and devices are notorious for vampire electricity. These devices include:

  • Cellphone chargers
  • Handheld video game chargers
  • Laptop chargers
  • AC Adapters ( anything that charges a battery)
  • Televisions
  • VCSs/DVD players/Cable Boxes
  • Video Game Consoles
  • Kitchen appliances (toasters, coffee markers, etc.)
  • Computers
  • Cordless telephones
  • Any device that can be woken up by a remote control

More Info

Informational Links

Jon Sader’s White Paper on Vampire Electricity

Energy Star’s site that describes Standby Power and Energy Vampires.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s site on identifying and reducing Standby Power

A PC WORLD article from 2008 that provides information on how to “save a few hundred bucks a year by unplugging electronics that aren’t in use”

[1] CIA World Fact Book