Standby power is the power that some of your electronics and appliances use, even when they’re not running. It’s also known as vampire power because it can raise your electric bill without providing you with any benefits. The Energy Star program reports that a typical household spends around $100 a year on standby power. When applied across the U.S., that power amounts to 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity used needlessly.
It’s not hard to reduce this drain, but it does require some thought and organization. The easiest way to stop the consumption that occurs when you leave some products plugged in is to isolate and organize the devices and appliances as much as possible.
- Put the chargers for your cell phones, MP3 players and other battery-operated devices on one power strip. Turn the strip off after your devices have charged. You can either turn the strip off or pull the plug at the wall. Some homes have switch-activated outlets that simplify the charging process. Turn the switch on to charge and off to stop the charge.
- If you use satellite or cable TV, consider plugging the receiver and television into different strips or power outlets, so you can keep the settings for your television. Digital televisions consume a great deal of standby power, especially plasma systems. Large televisions use more than small TVs.
- Change the energy settings on your computer so that the screen turns off after a certain amount of time because the screen uses more electricity than your computer. If you charge your devices from a computer, put them on a USB hub that you can remove from the port when you’re not charging anything.
- Choose devices that have Energy Star ratings to lower the amount of vampire power you use.
If you’d like to learn more about lowering standby power consumption, along with lowering your overall energy consumption, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. Your home’s conditioning equipment takes about half of your annual energy budget and we can help you improve its efficiency. We’ve provided HVAC services in greater Cleveland since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about standby power and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.