Vampire Drain: it's Watts for Dinner

Ransom Riggs

Vampire drain. If you're anything like me, you know full well it's happening, but that nugget of guilt-inducing knowledge is tucked wayyyy back in that I'll take care of it tomorrow part of your brain. But tomorrow, as they say, never comes. I'm hereby excavating my good intentions from the do-nothing recesses of my consciousness with this blog post! This month's issue of the ever-relevant Good magazine features a cute infographic about vampire drain (infographics: you know you love 'em), with some handy info about the worst power drain offenders (click the link to see the whole thing).

According to the Department of Energy, vampire drain costs Americans about $3 billion a year extra on their power bills. That's about five percent of all power used in this country, and according to some government estimates, vampire drain could account for 20% of all power used by 2020. Some of the worst offenders are plasma TVs (leaving them on "standby" mode will cost you about $150 extra per year) and next-gen gaming consoles ($25). Armed with these facts, I decided to do a little inventory of my appliances and gadgets, and see how much they're costing me while I'm not even using them:

Desktop computer ($34.81), laptop computer ($15.90), phone charger (2 x $.77), inkjet printer ($12.83), wireless router ($9.08), microwave ($3.85), gaming console ($25), DVR ($9.50), cable box ($9.25), plasma TV ($159), cordless phone base station ($3.18), clock radio ($1.50)

Grand total = 275.94. That's pretty significant, and it doesn't include the costs of running the refrigerator and security system, which are on 24/7.

How much power are vampires sucking out of your house?