Episode 179: What are vampire electrical loads?

Vampire Load

Nathaniel Horner, a researcher for Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, discusses vampire electrical loads.



Learn More

4 Ways to Slay Energy Vampires this Halloween by the Department of Energy

What is Phantom Load? by Efficiency Vermont

Latest Research on Comatose Servers by Jonathan Koomey


HOST: On this week’s Energy Bite, Nathaniel Horner, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, warns us about vampire electrical loads!

NATHANIEL: Vampire loads—also called phantom loads—are electrical appliances that consume electricity when they are not being used. Not to scare you too much, but they’re everywhere! Your cable box draws power when you aren’t watching TV, and your sleeping laptop and laser printer are quietly sucking power in the dead of the night. These phantoms aren’t just in your home. Legions of so-called “zombie servers” sit idling in data centers long after they should have been unplugged.

HOST: Yikes! What can I do about these energy vampires, phantoms, and zombies?

NATHANIEL: The department of energy estimates vampire devices could suck one of every ten dollars you pay for electricity, so it’s worth taking action. Look for appliances that have ENERGY STAR ratings. Shut down devices completely rather than putting them in standby. You can also buy “smart” power strips that cut the power to your game console, DVD player, and cable box when your TV is turned off.

HOST: Do you exterminate vampire loads in your house? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org


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