Electronic vampires: devices that “suck” energy

Bills go up, energy costs go up, and it often seems to us that despite all the precautions that we take candlelit dinners passed off as romantic moments, the expense always be high.


Of course, there are very big reasons behind it related to geopolitics and international trade, but not only that. In fact, there are electronic devices that “suck” energy even when they shouldn’t: a bit like gods would vampires.

What is Vampire Energy

Vampire energy, also called standby or phantom load energy, is the energy that some electronic and electrical devices consume even after they have been switched on. standby or after being turned off.

Wired magazine explains that devices without clocks and dashboards, such as lamps and toasters, don’t consume vampire energy. But many smart products Yes; for these devices, the energy consumption comes mainly from the adapters that convert the alternating current into direct current and from the circuits that continue to be powered even when the device seems to us to be off. So yes, unplug the cables and cords from the outlets when you don’t use them it could actually reduce your electricity consumption.

There are also tons of appliances with thermostats interiors working around the clock to maintain specific temperatures. An example are water coolers, which in some countries are a must: as in the United States, where their market has reached one billion dollars. And to think that it would be enough to replace them with an ice cube in the glass, which doesn’t use all the energy that refrigerators use.

The energy consumption of electronic vampires can account for up to 40% of the total of a building and its utility bill. Studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council in the United States have found that more than 100 billion kilowatt hours are wasted each year on the energy of these devices.

The environmental damage of electronic vampires

The electrical impulse does not magically appear in our homes: producing it often requires the combustion of hydrocarbons such as oil, gas and coal, which release significant quantities of carbon dioxide. According to a study conducted by Earthday, 100 billion kilowatt hours of vampire energy produces nearly 80 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of about 15 million automobiles.

And as often happens in these cases, it is not domestic consumption that has an influence: it certainly has a weight, but not as enormous as that of consumption industrial. Just think of snack vending machines or photocopiers, not to mention all the huge machines. Objects that are used a few hours, not every day, but that consume energy 24/7. Not to mention how much energy, say, bitcoins consume: the same amount as an entire nation.

According to experts, 21% of electricity consumed by buildings is one waste. One way to solve this problem lies in how they are built and designed: again according to Wired, it would be enough to imagine machines that are able to function even with low energy consumption, and that do not need continuous maintenance or to be replaced because they are now obsolete.

Electronic vampires: devices that “suck” energy