Hidden Electricity "Vampires"
This week we will look at some less obvious devices that may seem at first to be very insignificant but actually consume substantial amounts of electricity over time. We call them Electricity “Vampires.”
One of the negative byproducts of our digital age is the proliferation of devices that require small power supplies that draw current 24/7. Most electric devices of years past consumed current only when they were actually being used. This is no longer the case. For example, even when your TV is turned off, it most likely is consuming between 5 and 15 watts of electricity per hour. This keeps the clock set; the favorite channel selection updated, and allows for an almost instant picture when you do turn it “on.”
Look around your house. I bet you can find a dozen or more small power supplies plugged into outlets. The cell phone or iPod charger, the telephone answering machine, the wireless telephone hand set, the electric screw drive charger and stove timer, all consume small amounts of electricity. When you add them up and figure that most other houses on your street, in your town and in your state all have many of the same appliances, the amount of electricity being used is significant.
It is not practical to turn off some of these devices since doing so will often cause memory loss and the need to re-program them. For those of you without teenagers this can take hours. In other cases, just unplugging chargers when not in use is a good start.
Here are a few other tips:
- If you are going away for three or more days, turn off your hot water heater
- Put motion sensors on lights in hallways, garages etc.
- Use only the amount of light you need for the task at hand.
- Open those windows and use a fan instead of A/C
The bottom line is that energy conservation is a cumulative thing. If everyone does a few things, the impact can be significant.