I have been pondering the question from my previous blog since Earth Overshoot Day. One answer is quite simple – no new technology required, no self-sacrifice needed – simply unplug appliances that are not in use. There could be many of these in our homes and work places. The Earth Day Network explains that “turning off an appliance doesn’t completely stop the flow of electricity; it merely slows down the rate of energy consumption. And to make matters worse, many appliances don’t ever turn off. Instead they enter standby mode and continue to draw electricity to power displays, remote controls, and charge batteries.” Hence the term vampire energy. “In the US alone, more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are wasted each year [through vampire energy], which collectively costs consumers over $11 billion!” Unplugging vampire appliances not only saves the average homeowner approximately $100/year, but also reduces resource consumption. If we use less energy, fewer fossil fuels need to be burned at power plants. As a result, smaller amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
So, who are the major vampires? Which appliance should I go home and unplug? Dosomething.org gives the following top 5 list of energy vampires: televisions, video games, laptops computers, DVD players, and cell phone chargers.