There’s a vampire on the loose. Whether you’re at work, at home, or out on the town, this vampire is taking a bite out of your wallet and harming the environment. But, there’s no need to sharpen a wooden stake and stock up on garlic just yet.
The villain in question is vampire power, also known as standby power and phantom load. These terms refer to the electricity many gadgets and appliances waste just by being plugged in even when they’re switched off. After all, what do you think your cell phone charger does all day while it’s plugged into the wall? If it’s warm when you get home from work, then it’s been using electricity, even if it had nothing to charge.
Individually, your rechargeable electronic toothbrush may not put that much strain on the local power plant, but the big picture is far more troubling. In the United State alone, vampire power costs consumers more than $10 billion a year and has contributed billions of tons of unnecessary CO2 emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Smart Electronics Initiative brings together industry leaders interested in slaying this vampire, including energy efficiency experts and maverick politicians. With their help, innovation can infuse energy efficiency into the design and production of consumer electronic devices.