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Help Avoid “Vampire Energy Loss” During Break: Power Down

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Vampire energy loss: that’s a phrase often used to refer to what happens when electronic devices—computers, copies, printers, cell phone chargers, etc.—remain plugged in when not in use. It’s not enough to just shut them off; if they’re plugged in, they’re sucking energy.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates it costs about $6 a year to leave a desktop computer plugged in; wireless routers and a ink jet printers run about $4 each; and DSL modems, about $5.

Those might seem like paltry amounts but if you multiply the cost by the number of each device in every department, office, classroom or laboratory on campus, the cost spikes.

Powering down during winter break will save money and help reduce emissions. Previous power down campaigns have resulted in more than $10,000 in energy cost savings while cutting emissions by the equivalent of taking five passenger cars off the road for an entire year.

And don’t forget about the lights. The myth that it is less expensive to keep lights on than it is to turn them on and off is just that—a myth.

So, remember to turn off and unplug your electronic equipment before leaving for winter break.

For more information on powering down and other energy-saving tips, go to http://www.energy.unh.edu/tips.html.