Slaying energy “vampires”

By Krista Van Tassel
January 20th, 2012

A Kill-a-Watt meter from P3 International displays a current draw of 10.27amp from a Christmas display.Based in an energy “vampire” hub for the U.S., the Vancouver Green Team decided to start slaying the energy suckers in their midst. The team—with Debra Kennedy, Vaughan Schmall, and Candice Todd in charge—developed a comprehensive energy efficiency education program as a way to educate both colleagues and the community about the cost hazards and environmental dangers of the energy “vampires” that lurk around our homes and offices.

To fulfill their mission, they armed themselves with Kill A Watt® energy meters, a helpful tool that tracks both the energy consumption and associated costs for any device that’s plugged in. The team also studied the habits and whereabouts of energy “vampires”, creating a useful guide that teaches anyone how to identify and slay these creatures.

The meter and guide make an easy-to-use energy “vampire” slaying kit, which the Vancouver Green Team brought to the masses by hosting a series of “lunch and learns” at their offices for team members, and by donating the kits to their local library. Since they were first introduced in November, the kits have been a huge hit and are currently checked out at all locations.

Now team members in Vancouver can borrow an energy meter to track their energy use at home or the office for the day, month, or year and learn ways to reduce their electricity bill! Library patrons also have access to 26 meter kits that are available across all 13 of their local branches.

Thanks to their energy expertise, the Vancouver Green Team has been in high demand. In October, the team helped inspire our 65+ Green Teams across the country by presenting their work at our first ever Green Team Leadership conference.

"An energy 'vampire' is any appliance or device that continues to draw power even when not in use."Here are some of their tips that YOU can use to help identify and kill your own energy vampires:

  • An energy “vampire” is any appliance or device that continues to draw power even when not in use. Examples can include a TV that remains at the ready even when you are not watching it, a printer or computer in “standby” mode, or a mobile phone charger that remains plugged in when not actively charging your phone.
  • To “kill” a “vampire,” simply unplug the device. To make it even easier, consider purchasing a power strip so you can turn off multiple devices at the same time.
  • Slaying energy “vampires” saves money, energy and the planet. Did you know that the Department of Energy estimates that the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices while they are supposed to be “off”? That means that standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual U.S. electricity consumption and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs!

Now that you’re armed with more info, go out and slay those energy “vampires”!

Tags:   Candice Todd   Debra Kennedy   electricity   electronics   energy   green teams   Kill A Watt   meter   team member   vampire   Vancouver   Vaughn Schmall   
Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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Shinu Thomason February 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm:

Congrats to the Vancouver Green Team! This really is a simple but effective way to save energy – it truly adds up!!

Krista Van Tasselon February 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm:

@ Shinu – thank you so much for your support of our efforts. You are absolutely right – every action counts!

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