Do you trust this guy to mess with your electricity bill?
What do you get if you marry Edward Cullen and an electrical outlet? Well, you actually get this. But after the Twilight outlet cover, you get vampire energy: electrical devices/appliances sucking up energy when they’re not in use. And it sucks big.
Some estimates claim vampire energy costs consumers around $3 billion a year. At 11 cents/kilowatt hour, that’s almost 27.3 billion kWh of wasted consumption. That could power more than 2.5 million American homes for a year, or keep the Empire State Building humming for 495 years. (FYI, that’s more than twice as long as the U.S. has existed.)
Some specific things that suck: One computer in standby mode (311 kWh, or about $34/year); that computer’s LCD monitor (22.8 kWh, or $2.51/year); and plasma TV in active standby (1452.4 kWh hours, or nearly $160/year).
What might suck most? Cell phone chargers. Of the energy they consume, only 5 percent is used to power the phone. The other 95 percent goes into draining your bank account.
In total, you’re spending around $100 a year to power things that aren’t even turned on.
Quick fixes: Use a power strips to manage appliances, and turn the strip off when not in use. That’ll save the equivalent of one always-on 100-watt light bulb. And here’s one more idea: Unplug your dang cell phone charger.
How Do We Know All This? Cuz we’re brilliant. Also:
GOOD magazine has the vampire energy goods.
These green-energy hippies do math that we like.
Las Vegas is a frightening point of comparison.
The Empire State building, clocking in at 55 kWh/year.
-Joseph Crosby, Serious Coin contributor
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/TCA 2010/Contributor/Getty Images