Vamping Us

The undead are popular this year. Moonlight, the CBS Friday night crime drama with a vampire as the lead detective, drew a 2.1 share last Friday. That may have been the episode in which our hero came back to life and then reverted to his nighttime habits, but the show is popular every week.

Vampire Power. David Pogue in the NYTimes calls it “the juice consumed by electronic gadgets even when they’re turned off (also called phantom loads, standby power or leaking electricity). They just sit there, plugged in, sucking electricity, at a cost to you and to the environment. According to the Energy Department, vampire gadgets account for about 25 percent of total residential electricity consumption in the U.S.”

Say what?

OK, I admit that we have a teevee or two, more than our share of VCRs that show the time rather than blinking, and a couple or seven electronic phones. We also have a refrigerator and two freezers along with a water pump to pump the water in and a sump pump to pump it out, an electric mattress pad, and an electric stove.

This household burns through 666 KW-Hrs per month or so. Vampire power measured in watts is 25% of that kilowatt load? So those blinking green lights would account for 167 KW-Hrs per month? 167 KW-Hrs??? I don’t think so.

This sounds more like the Far Green in action. I need proof. Like actual, measured data, instead of being vamped by hyperbole.

Congress is planning to announce a possible investigation into something. Whew. That ought to keep them out of trouble for the entire term.

4 thoughts on “Vamping Us

  1. Reality Check, or The Rest of the Story

    I need data but I would settle for manufacturers’ numbers. The teevee may draw 25% of its total power consumption on standby but that draw is not 25% of a refrigerator. The fridge doesn’t count anyway since its power draw is necessary to make cold, not just keep it ready. Likewise the furnace and the well pump.

    The problem is this: I can walk around the house and add up a lot of little green lights on or blinking. Some of them even irritate me–the teevee being one of them. This household burns through 666 KW-Hrs per month or so. I do not believe those blinking green lights account for 167 of them.

    Even the Far Green can’t believe that, no matter what they say in print.

    President Bush signed a 2001 executive order that instructs federal agencies to buy energy-efficient devices. ”Each agency, when it purchases commercially available, off-the-shelf products that use external standby power devices, or that contain an internal standby power function, shall purchase products that use no more than one watt in their standby power consuming mode. ‘If such products are not available, agencies shall purchase products with the lowest standby power wattage while in their standby power consuming mode.”

    We peeps can do the same.

    In fact, we can do a little bit more.

    Here in North Puffin, I do use a 1990-vintage Power Comm 3000 to disconnect the computer(s) and peripherals from the grid when I shut down for the day. We don’t leave charger wall warts plugged in unless they, too, are on a switched outlet. We have a lot of charger wall warts but we have a lot of switched outlets, too.

    I will not unplug the VCRs, though. How would we tape Moonlight when we go out on a Friday night?

  2. Heh.

    Sometimes I love technology. Sometimes I don’t.

    Hey mk! You’re a writer Turn up the 40 watt bulb and put some more words in a row.

Comments are closed.