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Power Down

What is the number one way to reduce your energy usage?

It should always be the first step you take to reduce your energy consumption, and the last thing you do when you leave a room! With the flip of a switch you could reduce your electrcity usage by 10%-20%!

Other Ways to Reduce:

1. Use Electronics Correctly

  • Power down your computer when not in use and unplug it from the wall when it's not being charged.
  • Remove chargers from the wall when they are not being used (see "Vampire Power" below).
  • Plug your TV and speakers in to a power strip and shut off at the power strip when these items are not in use OR buy a Autoswitching Smart Strip that will do this for you!

2. Know your Refrigerator

  • Keep your fridge at 35-40 degrees and your freezer at 5 degrees - this reduces electricity caused by an overworked fridge, it helps keep your fruits & veggies appropriately chilled!
  • Do not put uncovered liquids or hot meals in the fridge, this causes the fridge to work overtime to bring food to the right temperature.  Let meals cool to room temperature before putting them in the fridge.

3. Use the Correct Laundry Settings

  • If you live on campus, Mac-Gray (our laundery provider) has made it easy for you! Select the settings highlighted in green so ensure you are washing & drying as eco-friendly as possible!
  • Always wash full loads of laundry - running the machine with few items in it wastes water and energy, not to mention your quarters!
  • When possible, hang your laundry up to dry, this saves energy and is better for some clothing. 
  • Clean the filter before every drying load.

For further tips about how to cut back visit: How to Save Energy

Vampire Power

Vampire power (also referred to as "standby power" or "phantom load") is the excess electricity being wasted by leaving unused appliances and electronic devices plugged in. Last year in the United States vampire power cost consumers over $3 billion in one year.  That's enough to buy 10 years of groceries for 50,000 families of four! [Source: Energy Information Administration]


Check out this informative video on the effects of Vampire Power

There are two types of devices which are the leading causes of Vampire Power

Charging devices:

  • They will supply a charge even if nothing is plugged in or if the battery is already fully charged.  

Electronics on Standby:

  • Devices such as printers or computers that are turned off are really in "standby mode" waste electricity because there is constantly energy following through them so that they are ready at a moment's notice - this includes your TV!
  • Reducing Vampire Power reduces electricity costs and our carbon footprint.

How can you reduce vampire power?

  • Unplug your electronics when you're not using them
  • Plug multiple appliances into a power strip and shut the power strip off when you are not using them, this forces the devices to shut off rather than sitting in standby mode.
  • Purchase a Smart Power Strip: Designate one item as your "master" (i.e. your computer) and the rest of your devices as "slaves" (such as printer or speakers). With this power strip, when your computer is off or even on stand-by - none of the "slave" devices will receive any power.

For more information visit: How Stuff Works - Vampire Power