Is a vampire loose in your house (sucking energy, not blood)?

by Glennda Chui on October 30, 2011

Editor’s note: SLAC selected “vampire load” as its “word of the week” and turned it into an energy efficiency reminder.

While bracing for goblins and monsters this Halloween, you might give a thought to the evil within: vampires that suck energy from the power outlets in your home. This “vampire load” – also known as “standby power” – consumes about 10 percent of the electricity in the average household.

Only part of this loss comes from the black, two-fanged power adapters used to charge cell phones and other electronic equipment. The rest comes from appliances and electronics, from microwave ovens to coffee pots, computers – even washing machines – that stay plugged in all the time and continually sip juice, even when supposedly turned off.

Although power adapters are getting more power efficient, a growing number of appliances and electronics have instant-on features and other conveniences that require a small, steady flow of electricity. Find out how to drive a stake into the heart of your vampire load – and save money in the process – at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory standby power website.

Post appeared originally on SLAC Today; used with permission

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

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