Vampire Power

I recently went through a bit of an electrical shock (excuse the pun) when we started getting our electrical bills, for our newly purchased home. We bought it in early spring and noticed that our electricity usage kept going up. We discovered that our local library loans out electricity power meters so we borrowed one for a few weeks. We were determined to find out what was causing our electricity usage to continue to rise.

We were concerned about the obvious appliances as all of the appliances that came with the house were all 20-30 years old, nary an Energy Star ranking among them (as far as I could determine), so I started to test them all. Bear in mind that although I tested all of these appliances (the ones I actually could, of course, not able to test 240 V ones) I have no “current”, modern ones to compare the results to. What I can do is compare all of the items tested with each other. My fridge, being greater than 20 years old, is no worse than my 8 year old water cooler. The big shocker for me was my computers. I have 2 computers, one is my desktop that is for everyday use, the other is my server that I use for streaming music from, a website to play with, etc. My desktop I discovered has power saving abilities but weren’t active (in the OS) so I activated it then tested it over a 24 hr period. A certain amount of that time was actual usage, the other was when the PC was idle. Since I was able to activate its power saving abilities, the cost of running that machine over the year amounted to approx. $280. My server unfortunately had no such power saving abilities as its a server machine. Its always on, always available. Its calculated power cost for year turned out to be $1187.14. That’s just about 5 times more than the desktop! Needless to say, I only have that machine on when I need it.

This has made me aware of all of the power that is being consumed, not necessarily when something is being used but simply because its plugged in. Everyday items that you don’t even think about like toasters, or cell phone chargers, or TV’s, stereo equipment or printers and fax machines.

The following YouTube video was taken from the site, it has some interesting information there with links to a blog with some interesting industry articles. Check it out:


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