I was reading an article about a week ago that mentioned the impacts of leaving computers on at night. Not everyone considers the amount of energy used by idle computers, but it is a considerable source of waste. According to a report published by 1E, a PC power management company, $2.8 billion are wasted every year by 54 million computers that are left on overnight. Common sense would dictate to use the hibernate function, or simply to turn the computer off. Through personal experience I have seen that not many people actually know how much energy is used by electronic products. We must change this lack of awareness. Everyone talks about how wind and solar energy, biofuels, and other technologies will impact energy generation and consumption, but can a few simple energy conservation practices also have a considerable impact?
Grassroots education and awareness has the potential to conserve an important amount of energy, saving money and reducing emissions.
Vampire or parasitic electricity consumption is another loss that few people consider. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, it can account for up to 10% of residential energy use. This vampire consumption refers to the electricity consumed by transformers in adapters. Even though they are turned off, products that have a transformer will draw power when plugged into the grid. This electricity is used to magnetize the core of the transformer, and it happens all the time the product is plugged in. These losses are very small, but they add up because of the amount of electric products in a household and the fact that they are plugged in all the time.
We can have an impact on energy conservation every day, let's generate some awareness on other people. I'll be sure to do it next time my roommate has his laptop, TV, radio and lights all turned on at the same time... while he is cooking in the kitchen.