The other night, I was watching television and a mini-show came on about saving electricity. As a recycling enthusiast and someone who is overly passionate about saving the environment (is there such a thing?), I thought I would watch.
This show was researching how much electricity is actually flowing through appliances that are turned off or on standby mode (computers, televisions, etc). This phenomenon is called "vampire power" or "phantom load" - ooo SPOOKY! According to Wikipedia, it is the "electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a stand-by mode". From this same article I learned that Alan Meier's (of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) 2000 study showed that standby power accounted for around 10% of household power-consumption! Ten percent, people! Continuing on...
The most shocking part about this show that I watched, was when the watts consumed by appliances were calculated, the host's main concern was the cost a person pays for this unused energy. He basically stated that since the actual cost of powering these appliances wasn't huge in the long run, we can keep these items plugged in! I found this kind of saddening. I mean, being "green" is not just about saving money, it's about saving the Earth. I, for one, will continue to unplug as many electrical items as I can. Not only does this cut down, even a little bit, on the energy used, but it also cuts down on fire risks, and that makes a paranoid person like me happy. :)
In spirit of saving the Earth, today also happens to be Earth hour 2009. At 8:30pm tonight, you are encouraged to turn off all your lights for one whole hour!
Flick the switch and do your part!