What is the cost of "vampire energy"?

How much do all our devices in "standby" mode cost us in terms of electricity usage and real dollars?

Vampire Energy graphic
GOOD Magazine

I've been curious recently about how much electricity all our devices that stay plugged in all the time and in some sort of standby mode consume, even when we are not actually using them. And what does that translate into in terms of real money?

Coincidentally, GOOD Magazine has created this handy chart that graphically depicts the impact.

The real surprise on it is plasma TVs--who knew they were sucking so much energy when "off"? And that game console of yours? It's costing you $25 a year just sitting there, even when you're not using it. Have more than one console? Well, do the math...

The chart does not include all the wall-warts for cell phones, laptops, cameras, and the like that tend to stay plugged into the wall (and consuming some amount of electricity) even when not actually charging their devices. By some estimates these are responsible for 4 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption, equivalent to almost 100 million tons of oil. Hmm, no wonder the U.S. is 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 23 percent of its energy...

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Tech Culture
About the author

    Adam Richardson is the director of product strategy at frog design, where he guides strategy engagements for frog's international roster of clients, envisioning and creating new products, consumer electronics, and digital experiences. Adam combines a background in industrial design, interaction design, and sociology, and spends most of his time on convergent designs that combine hardware, software, service, brand, and retail. He writes and speaks extensively on design, business, culture, and technology, and runs his own Richardsona blog.

     

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