e360 digest


08 May 2015: Idle Electronics and Appliances
Waste $19 Billion Annually, Study Says

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idle power usage

NRDC
Idle power usage
Roughly $19 billion worth of electricity — an amount equal to the output of 50 large power plants — is devoured annually in the U.S. by household electronics and appliances when their owners are not actively using them, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council. These always-on but inactive devices account for nearly 23 percent of home electricity use in California, the researchers found after analyzing data from 70,000 residential smart meters. The cost of this so-called "vampire" energy drain, which provides little benefit to consumers, averages $165 per household per year, but it can be as high as $440 in areas with high electricity prices, the study says. Appliances that consume a lot of power when in use, such as heating and cooling systems and refrigerators, accounted for just 15 percent of the vampire consumption. The majority — 51 percent — is drawn by consumer electronics such as televisions, computers, printers, and game consoles. For example, a desktop computer can rack up an annual vampire energy cost of $49, whereas something as small as a coffee maker can waste $6 in electricity each year, the report says.


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