Energy & Sustainability
Vampire Energy!

008 Vampire Energy
Great chart showing the dreaded vampire energy from GOOD magazine…

16 thoughts on “Vampire Energy!

  1. @Tim: Turn stuff off by plugging them into power-bars with off switches. Unfortunately, you may lose (e.g.) channel settings on your TV.

    However, that good thing said, these are a little frustrating some times, because you don’t know what they’re really testing. For instance, one of these type articles (not this one) tested the Playstation 2, and described it as a “bad” energy vampire. Turns out they turned it on, loaded a game, then quit the game… and didn’t turn the machine off! It’s a little like turning on a TV, then tuning it to an empty channel and somehow assuming that that’s another way to turn it off. Sigh…

    As always (hey, we’re Makers!) test the actual current used before panicking…

  2. I find this more reassuring than alarming. Also, it’s important to remember that some of those numbers are for items that are charging batteries, so really, it’s power that get’s used to perform the objects intended function.

    Some of the items I look at, such as the computer, I think must be just left on the whole time. While this may be a fair approximation of how it’s used, it really doesn’t constitute “standby power”.

    If you really want to worry about something that consumes huge amounts of power in standby mode, worry about the water heater. I don’t understand why “on demand” water heaters haven’t taken off. They never run out of hot water, and they don’t spend energy to heat it all day while you’re at work.

  3. Most of the Vampire energy claims are greatly exaggerated to make an editorial point. They are presenting numbers that make things look bad.

    For example the blue lines are for the highest standby level for those devices all of them have a sub 1 watt standby mode.
    Additionally many of the devices that in red are misnomers. Example cordless phone most cordless base stations have answering machines and connect to phone company so they need power when not in operation so they are ready for operation.
    No clue where they got the computer standby usage 311 watts in standby no way??

    Test for yourself purchase a killawatt device and check for your self. Their prices start around $24. My pc in sleep mode was drawing 2 watts!!!!

    Link to purchase Killawatt http://www.cyberguys.com/templates/SearchAll.asp?search=killawatt&sort=desc

  4. Some of those ‘standby’ numbers are wrong, simply because the devices don’t work that way. A VCR programmed to record uses no more power than a VCR in standby (which uses about the same power as VCR turned “ON” with no tape running.)

    A Plasma TV in ‘active standby’ is doing what? Turned on, but displaying “No Signal”? That’s the same as “on”:

    1452 KWh/year / (24*365) hours/year = 166 W. That figure is definitely for a powered-on TV. Actually rather low for a plasma.

    vs. the computer in standby:

    311 / 8760 = 35 W. That’s about right for a PC in S1 sleep. You can get it down to about 5 watts on modern PCs that support S3.

  5. “311 / 8760 = 35 W. That’s about right for a PC in S1 sleep. You can get it down to about 5 watts on modern PCs that support S3.”

    And when you plug it into a power bar with a switch, you can get it down to exactly 0 watts. My computer uses 5W when _turned_ _off_ (it powers devices that recharge through USB). The devices that are in the same power bar with the computer consume 12W when in stand by (computer, modem, printer, monitor). The computer sits unused for at least 16 hours each day (8hrs work + 8hrs sleep). 12W equals is a pretty bright fluorescent light bulb.

    If you turn off lights when you are not at home, why don’t you turn off your computer when you don’t use it? It is just another switch you turn off when you leave home. Not doing it is just laziness.

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