The Energy Chronicles

Fight “Vampire Power” with Energy Efficiency This Halloween

Did you know that all electrical appliances and equipment still draw or “suck” energy even when they are turned off, as long as they are still plugged in?  This draw of energy is called standby power, or phantom load, and most experts agree that it happens for two reasons.  One, power supply circuits and sensors receive a remote signal while plugged into the wall.  Two, circuits continue to be energized even though the appliance or equipment is turned off.  The average residential setting adds about $200 or 5 to 10% more to their average annual energy bill from products plugged in 24 hours a day.  Therefore, reducing the amount of standby power in your home can be an easy solution to saving more money.

The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, created a database of electronic appliances, or “energy vampires”.  The list was created to help inform U.S. citizens how much energy their electronic appliances consume while off and on.

Summary Table by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Ways to Stop the Vampires

There are multiple actions that can be taken to help reduce the number of vampires from sucking energy.  Here are a few examples:

  • Request a plug load analysis from TEG.
  • Unplug infrequently used appliances.
  • Utilize power strips, so you can flip one switch to turn off multiple appliances at once.
  • Research and purchase ENERGY STAR rated appliances that have lower standby power settings.

By taking control of your standby power, you can spend this Halloween season vampire free!


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