Here’s an interesting article and PodCast from NPR.org’s “All Tech Considered” on monitoring power usage on the home. The show and blog post are both about “vampire power” which is not a new indie band, but the term used to describe the power that electronic items use even when they are not turned on or in use.
A notorious culprit of vampire power, that I recently became aware of, is the cell phone charger. But basically anything with a charger, remote, or a clock display, can continue to suck the power from your home when not in use and thereby suck money from your wallet.
To find out how much your electronic items are costing you when not in use, purchase the P3 Kill A Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor. The Kill A Watt is an electronic device that displays the energy consumed by your appliances, lamps and computers in your home.
Yahoo gives a good chart that estimates the vampire energy that plugged in appliances and electronics are probably consuming in your home right now.
So how does one fight vampire power? Your wooden stick and garlic is the power strip. Plug your items into a power strip and use the on/off button on the power strip to turn all your items off at once. Get into the habit of doing this everyday and you will see a difference in your electricity bill. Plus, using the power strip eliminates the hassle of going around your home and manually unplugging all items. It also prevents damage to your appliance’s power cords. If you already have damage to the cord and plug fear not, you can buy new appliance cords online to replace any damaged cords in your home.
Other ways you can conserve energy at home, purchase a Smart Strip Power Strip that detects when your electronics are not in use and automatically turns off power.