Best Buy and Vampires

5%-10% of residential power can be consumed by devices that are turned 'off'. Best Buy declared 30 October 2008 "National Vampire Awareness Day" The point? Alert customers to the 40% of home electronics energy consumption (and associated carbon emissions) that occurs when devices appear to be off are actually in standby mode. These are called "vampire devices" because the suck energy during the night. Best Buy offers these tips, applicable to home, dorm room, and office:

1. Use a power strip: Plug your chargers into a power strip and when you’re not using those chargers, turn the power strip off.

2. Get unplugged: All of your chargers (cell phone, MP3, laptop, and even electric toothbrushes), continue to draw electricity even when the device is not charging.

3. Turn your computer off: Computers in sleep mode can cost an additional $70 per year. By completely shutting down your computer and printer when not in use you will not only save money, you will also help reduce the machine's CO2 emissions 83 percent, to just 63 kg a year.

4. Look for the Star: ENERGY STAR qualified products

You can get more details on vampire wastage and on these vampire-killers from the Best Buy release.

Vampire Effect - Charging your BlackBerry

open4energy has completed an energy study on recharging a BlackBerry.

In summary:

Cost of electricity charging the BlackBerry each year: 12.5 cents
Cost of vampire effect: $1.26

Our result of 90% wasted energy (or what I call the charger pretending to be a small wall heater) is consistent with the 40% quoted above. In our example the BlackBerry requires only one hour for charging, leaving 23 hours for vampire power!

To see the full study visit the web page:

There is also a poll on energy awareness, we hope you will participate?

Don't overcomplicate standby power management

Alex Bischoff (@open4energy) continues to dig into the impact of standby (aka "phantom"or "vampire") power drains by doing more analysis of his home office. He tell us which measuring device is most useful and if certain standby power saving devices actually deliver. But I was most struck by his reminder that 'keep it simple' is sometimes the best approach:

"The printer uses 500 watts to power up, and with my [smart power strip's] 15 minute sleep setting, it was turning off and on regularly. Besides using nearly all my standby savings, it was simpler and less demanding on the printer to have it plugged into a regular outlet, and to turn the printer on when needed."

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