Get Smart about Energy™


We recently completed our study on the energy used to charge a BlackBerry.

We found that the energy wasted is as high as 10 times the energy used. The waste is from the trickle charge to the fully charged BlackBerry, and the poorly designed charger using energy while plugged in.

To eliminate this vampire power, disconnect the BlackBerry when fully charged and unplug the charger. Please do not consider a "smart power strip" to automate this. A smart power strip uses approximately 1.9 Watts for its "smarts" which is twice the 0.75 Watts consumed by the charger. A plain power strip with individually switched outlets is useful to save unplugging the charger.

I do encourage all home computer users to identify any "power bricks" (usually old) that continue using energy while plugged in. The simple test is to feel if the "brick" remains warm/hot. To save the energy they waste, either switch the outlet off, or if there is no switch, unplug the "brick"

Now there are other "bricks" which also use energy continuously. But this energy is not vampire power, this is the energy required by the device to operate in standby mode. In many cases the standby energy used is an energy saving. For example an unattended laptop in sleep mode uses less than 1 Watt, compared to the 14 watts with its screen off but cpu's working.

In our article Energy Saving for a Laptop Computer we discuss how we have saved 35% of our the energy we were using in our home office. I do encourage all our readers to visit Climate Savers Computing to learn about the work started by Google and Intel in 2007, and to seriously consider making a commitment with them to save computing energy.

Bottom line, the majority of savings have achieved by my wife and I becoming informed, and using this new information to change our working habits. It has taken a while to get used to the new habits, which at times need paying attention to, but looking back it has been good for us.

Last week we received a 20% discount on our energy bill from PG&E. It was a surprise for we made the changes to try and be better stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with. It will be a special treat to enjoy a meal out together, paid for from this unexpected financial reward.


Open4Energy - Get Smart about Energy™