Is your computer really off . . . or is it wasting energy?

SAVING THE PLANET ONE WEEK AT A TIME

3619_wasting energy.jpg
Photo: Lise Lafond

How many devices have you plugged in that are consuming electricity, even when they are not in use?

Whatever you call it – vampire power, standby power, phantom power, leaked energy – this is the electricity that your gadgets continue to consume even when on idle. We increasingly rely on devices – printers, TVs, computers, game consoles, smartphones, cable boxes and other plug-in appliances – which can use 50 or 100 watts of electricity, even when they are not in use.