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Oct 18, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Go Vampire Hunting!

Since the first day of the e-course, we've discussed ways to lower your energy usage. Most of that involves turning things off or down. But, did you know that some appliances and electronics still use electricity when they're turned off?

That's right: there are probably "energy vampires" in your home, and, according to a 2000 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, they may account for up to 10% of your electricity use (source). The Federal Energy Management Program provides several clues to identifying potential home power suckers:

  • An external power supply (i.e., cell phone chargers, inkjet printers).
  • A remote control (i.e., TVs, VCRs, ceiling fans, audio equipment).
  • A continuous digital display (i.e., clothes washers, microwaves, VCRs).
  • A rechargeable battery (i.e., cordless telephones, battery charger). These products continue to use standby power even after the battery is fully charged.

While efforts to regulate power-guzzling by electronics in standby mode are underway at both the state and federal levels, you don't have to wait for new rules or laws to lower the amount of standby power used in your home. You can take a number of actions to drive stakes through the hearts of the vampires in your home!

Your Action for Today:
Go Vampire Hunting!

  1. Take a look at the list above, and decide which of these items you can unplug when not in use. That kills the vampire effect immediately!
  2. If you must be absolutely certain, buy or borrow a Kill-o-Watt or another home wattage meter. These devices will tell you which electronics are drawing the most power.
  3. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying new electronics, and then check that the product meets the recommended low standby power level (generally 1 watt or less).
  4. New "smart" power strips regulate the flow of electricity to electronics when they're in standby mode.

Tomorrow: Keep your vehicle maintained for efficiency

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

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Posted: Oct 18, 2007 8:31am

 

 
 
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