Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Vampire" Appliances -- They Suck Electricity Even When Switched Off -- Cost Consumers $3 Billion A Year, Says Cornell Energy Expert

Date:
September 27, 2002
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
The typical American home has 20 electrical appliances that bleed consumers of money. That's because the appliances continue to suck electricity even when they're off, says a Cornell University energy expert. His studies estimate that these so-called "vampire" appliances cost consumers $3 billion a year -- or about $200 per household.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The typical American home has 20 electrical appliances that bleed consumers of money. That's because the appliances continue to suck electricity even when they're off, says a Cornell University energy expert. His studies estimate that these so-called "vampire" appliances cost consumers $3 billion a year -- or about $200 per household.

Related Articles


"Off doesn't mean off anymore, but standby," says Mark Pierce, a Cornell Cooperative Extension associate in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA) in Cornell's College of Human Ecology. "As a result, we're using the equivalent of seven electrical generating plants just to supply the amount of electricity needed to support the standby power of our vampire appliances when they're off."

And since much of electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil-fuel power plants, vampire appliances significantly contribute to the production of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, Pierce says in a recent issue of Housing and Home Environment News (summer 2002), a DEA publication.

Electrical appliances slurp up energy even when switched off in order to support features such as timers, clocks, memory and remote "on" and "off" switches, says Pierce. "Satellite receivers for televisions and VCRs, among other appliances, use almost as much electricity when they are switched off as when they are on," he points out.

Satellite TV systems and some DVD players, for example, each cost about $9 a year for standby power; an energy-thirsty TV can cost more than $10 a year. The vampire appliance bill becomes significant when audio systems, garage-door openers, clock radios, phone/answering machines, microwave ovens and standard ovens are included.

The standby power of a computer monitor, however, only costs about $3 a year when the computer is shut down nights and weekends. However, if the computer's "sleep" function is used, the power costs $41 a year for those nights and weekends -- almost as much as the $57 a year it costs to run the computer just on weekdays.

Worldwide, standby power consumes an average of 7 percent of a home's total electricity bill, although that figure is as much as 25 percent in some homes. In Australia, standby power accounts for 13 percent of total energy use; in Japan it accounts for 12 percent; and in the United States, 5 percent.

Increasing the efficiency of appliances would cut standby power consumption by about 72 percent, according to a recent study by the International Energy Agency in France.

"Yet the vast majority of consumers aren't even aware that electrical appliances continue to draw electricity when switched off," says Pierce. "And even if they were aware, they would not be able to purchase a non-vampire, or at least a less voracious vampire appliance, because no regulation requires manufacturers to label how much electricity their appliances draw when off."

What can consumers do? Pierce offers several actions:

o If timers and other features aren't being used, consumers can turn off their most wasteful appliances by plugging them into fuse-protected power strips (also known as surge protectors) that, when turned off, can disrupt the flow of electricity when the appliances aren't being used.

o Consumers can encourage their U.S. representatives to support legislation that would require labeling of appliances with their standby energy requirements.

o When choosing a new appliance, consumers can research if it uses less than 1 watt of standby power by accessing web sites such as http://standby.lbl.gov/data/1wproducts.html at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Related Web site:

o A list of publications on standby power from the Lawrence Berkley National Labs:

http://standby.lbl.gov/articles.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. ""Vampire" Appliances -- They Suck Electricity Even When Switched Off -- Cost Consumers $3 Billion A Year, Says Cornell Energy Expert." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020926065912.htm>.
Cornell University. (2002, September 27). "Vampire" Appliances -- They Suck Electricity Even When Switched Off -- Cost Consumers $3 Billion A Year, Says Cornell Energy Expert. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020926065912.htm
Cornell University. ""Vampire" Appliances -- They Suck Electricity Even When Switched Off -- Cost Consumers $3 Billion A Year, Says Cornell Energy Expert." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020926065912.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins