BOO! Energy Vampires & Phantom Loads
Halloween is the time of year to remind you that Energy Vampires and Phantom Loads lurk throughout your home and business year round! You can save money and conserve energy by taking measures to reduce these areas that suck valuable resources.
What Are They?
Energy vampires are appliances or other devices that draw energy, aka phantom loads, when they are plugged in but not in use. This includes electronics that require standby power to run such as clocks, coffeemakers and cable/satellite units. Alone, each device doesn’t cost that much but consider the cumulative effect of several devices drawing phantom loads over the course of a year. This can add up to significant cash vanishing from your bank account!
While it’s not realistic to unplug devices that feature clocks and timers due to the necessity of resetting lost data as a result of power loss, you can easily unplug laptop, tablet, cell phone, camera and power tool chargers when not in direct use.
Use Advanced Power Strips
An Advanced Power Strip manages vampire load for you so that when you turn off devices such as your TV, your entire home theater system including DVD player and game console, turn off as well. Use an Advanced Power Strip for any cluster of electronics you want to control with the flip of a single switch or the click of a remote control.
Choose ENERGY STAR® Products and Save!
ENERGY STAR® qualified electronics offer the same features and technology as non-qualified products, but they use less energy.
Another step you can take is to activate the power management feature available via your computer’s operating system. This will allow you to reduce energy usage and costs by putting the computer into a low-power “sleep” mode when you aren’t using it. A simple touch of the mouse or keyboard will “wake” the computer up in seconds.
You can also set your system to “hibernate” which puts your open documents and programs on your hard disk and then turns off the computer. Hibernation uses less power than sleep (and protects unsaved files from any power interruptions), but takes longer to wake up.
Enabling power management features on your computer could save you anywhere from 100 to 600 kWh per year depending on your computer usage. These savings are equivalent to anywhere from $9 to $54 per year at 9 cents per kWh.
Easy, step-by-step instructions to activate power management on your computers are available via Energy Star here.
According to the ENERGY STAR® program, the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices in standby mode and chargers that are not in direct use. For those that think this insignificant in terms of your bank account, consider this: on a national basis, standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual U.S. electricity consumption and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.
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