Villains "Phantom Energy" and "Vampire Plugs" Steal 10 Burritos Every Year


Use That Leaking Energy for Something More Productive

Use That Leaking Energy for Something More Productive

I know that all my co-workers at New Dream are getting creeped out because I talk about Phantom Energy and Vampire Plugs nonstop. I send out regular emails reminding people to turn off their power strips at night and every time we have a new intern I leave sticky notes on their monitors trying to explain “leaking energy.”

So when I got this email from my mom, a woman whose inherent Chinese frugality has made her a New Dreamer from birth, I had to think: This obsession with waste must run in the family.  In her email was an article from Lori Bongiorno (who ironically writes her own Conscious Consumer blog) which outlines the dollars wasted every year by our powered-down-but-still-plugged-in electronics.

According to Lori’s calculations, our laptops can suck almost $9 a year out of our wallets while we are sleeping.  Running an audit on the house that I share with 3 other people, I find the following vampires (annual electricity costs per year in parentheses):


TV ($2.97)

DVD Player ($1.53)

AM/FM tuner ($1.11)

CD player: ($4.99)

4 Laptops ($8.81)

Computer speakers ($1.98)

Microwave oven ($3.05)

4 Cell phone chargers ($0.26)


That’s  a grand total of $51.91 every year on stuff you thought was just sitting there!! (Maybe a little less because I’ve got my electronics on a power strip and I usually remember to turn it off.)

With this economy, I tend to think of things in terms of burritos. As in: FIFTY BUCKS! That’s TEN BURRITOS! Unplug your electronics or put them on a power strip – I’m hungry.

Tags: Burritos, Electricity, Electronics, Energy, Energy efficiency, Green office, Green school, Phantom energy, Plugs, Recession, Reduce waste, Save, Save money save energy, Saving money, Savings, Thrift, Vampire plugs

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