Monday, April 25, 2011

'Sleeping' red-eyed thieves stealing your energy

Many unused televisions and video game consoles sit quietly in American homes with a red-eyed glare similar to that of the homicidal computer HAL in the science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey." Despite being turned off, their collective energy vampirism drains the equivalent of entire power plants in the United States. Electronics on standby make up 5 percent to 10 percent of energy consumption in U.S. homes, according to the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. That translates into the energy equivalent of 43 to 86 power plants, if each plant produces 300 megawatts, based on Nadel's calculations. More>