The Price of Standby Mode
Just how much power do electronics use that are turned off, but plugged in?
Quite a bit, it turns out. Electric cooperatives are familiar with “energy vampires,” meaning devices that continue to draw power when not in use.
The New York Times recently studied the concept, citing a report that estimates a quarter of all residential energy consumption is used on devices in idle power mode.
“That means that devices that are ‘off’ or in standby or sleep mode can use up to the equivalent of 50 large power plants’ worth of electricity and cost more than $19 billion in electricity bills every year,” writes the Times.
Roughly 50 devices and appliances in the typical American household are always drawing power, according to the Department of Energy, as cited by the Times. The culprits range from small energy hogs like new internet-connected light bulbs and coffee makers, to appliances with digital displays, cable boxes and laptop computers.
Energy-saving solutions offered include powering appliances through a power strip so all can be turned off at one time, as well as tracking how much energy a home is consuming in regions where advanced metering is available.
Contact your electric cooperative with questions about how you can trim energy use and identify energy vampires in your home.