A: The answer is Vampire Power.

    Q: What is Vampire Power? 
    A: Vampire Power is the energy consumed by an item when it is off but still plugged into the wall receptacle. Everyday we take for granted the energy we consume by items we leave plugged into the wall even if we don’t use it. Day after day we hear about the green movement or energy conservation but pay no attention to it. Some of us may be geared to do our best to conserve but with life’s busy schedule sometimes we feel we just don’t have the time. 

    Here are some examples of how much Vampire Power our everyday household or workplace items consume when off but still plugged in:

    Product Average Watts
    Mobile phone charger 1.0
    17” LCD Flat Monitor 1.5
    17” CRT Monitor (Big TV type) 2.0
    Laptop 9.0
    Desktop Tower 3.0
    Inkjet Printer 1.3
    Laser Printer 1.6
    Computer Speakers 1.8
    Portable Stereo 1.7
    Television CRT type 3.0
    Television Big Screen 7.0
    DVD/VCR 5.0

    To understand what exactly we are talking about when it comes to money, let’s do a small calculation using some of the items above. Let’s say we have one computer system in our classroom, or at home, and you just turned it off for half a day but it is still plugged in. What are they consuming?

    First, we have to calculate cost for each item then add them together.
    Desktop: 3.0 watts, Flat Monitor: 1.5 watts, Inkjet Printer: 1.3 watts, and Speakers: 1.8 watts
    3.0 x 12 hours/day x 30 days/month = 1080 watts/1000 = 1.08 kwh x $0.10 = $0.108/month
    1.5 x 12 hours/day x 30 days/month = 540 watts/1000 = 0.54 kwh x $0.10 = $0.054/month
    1.3 x 12 hours/day x 30 days/month = 468 watts/1000 = 0.468 kwh x $0.10 = $0.0468/month
    1.8 x 12 hours/day x 30 days/month = 648 watts/1000 = 0.648 kwh x $0.10 = $0.0648/month

    So our total cost for our computer system is only $0.2736 a month which won’t break the bank, but if we calculate the cost for our entire district we are looking at $3556.80/month for approximately 13,000 systems. That same amount comes to approximately $42,681.60 a year by not unplugging the system. Imagine the cost for the same system but actually left on all day. When we see it in this perspective we should understand why we should unplug our items during times when we won’t be using them. I hope this sheds some light on what Vampire Power can consume.

    Thank you,
    Jaime Barboza
    Energy Manager