Today’s post is from Payless Power and features an insightful infographic on vampire energy – check it out in the end of the post.
When it comes to energy consumption, one term being thrown around more and more these days is vampire energy. While it may inspire flashes of fanged creatures of the night, the term relates to the energy consumed by electronic devices that have been powered down. Also called standby power and the phantom load, vampire energy specifically refers to electricity used by appliances that have been shutdown, but left plugged into an outlet. In order to maintain a connection to servers, enable data recording, and perform any system updates, devices must continue to use electricity. This also occurs due to the fact that devices essentially “wait” on users to power them on.
Vampire energy affects a number of our everyday appliances including televisions, microwaves, desktop computers, and even garage door openers. Other electronics that are affected by the phantom load but may not be quite as obvious include air conditioner units, gas ranges, and even the household furnace. As a whole, vampire energy costs Americans about $19 billion each year and can account for as much as twenty percent of the energy used within homes. It’s one of the reasons for an unusually high electric bill. That number is likely to increase as more and more people are making smart technology part of their household appliances.
To cut off vampire energy’s drain, electronic devices can be unplugged after use to immediately stop their energy consumption. This is not always possible for devices and in those cases it is important to employ the use of other energy saving tips. Using energy efficient appliances reduces the total amount of energy used by electronic devices, saving both energy and money. Power strips can also be used as a central hub for electronics and allow for one concise power down. The list goes on, as the many methods put the power back in the hands of device users. Ultimately, finishing off vampire energy will pay off in more ways than one.