Keeping perspective: phone charger vampire power about the same as one hot bath

David MacKay of the University of Cambridge has published a giant report comparing energy use in various scenarios, adding a exhalation-inducing bit of perspective on our daily, personal power use. Treehugger reports:

Case in point – cell phone chargers. David performs some tests and concludes that these chargers use maybe 0.01-0.05 kWh per day; over a year, that’s the equivalent of a skipping a single bath (5 kWh per pop), or driving 6 minutes less annually (average driver being 40 kWh per day). David makes the point that all else being equal, you should of course unplug the charger. On balance though, better to go stinky for one day or lose a convienence store run

Saving power where you can is laudable, of course, but as I am constantly in a lather about something or another, it’s a relief to know that my long, warm showers — a daily respite from stress — are what I should really be stressing out about. In fact, I think I’ll call someone and tell them about it.

“Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air” [PDF Report from inference.phy.cam.ac.uk via Treehugger]

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4 Responses to Keeping perspective: phone charger vampire power about the same as one hot bath

  1. membeth says:

    The trouble is that SOME devices DO draw enormous amounts of power, not just in the aggregate but individually. And there is no easy way to figure out which ones they are and avoid purchasing them in favor of better-designed devices.

  2. Droogy says:

    I consider (relatively) long showers a mental and physical necessity too – I have an extremely stressful social service job so I figger it all evens out in the end….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Of course, the trouble is that most homes have many leaks of this sort: wall warts, chargers, appliances on “standby”. Some of them are surprisingly large. For example, I discovered that my ink jet printer was spewing about an order of magnitude more power than the assortment of chargers I had plugged in all the time, 24×7. When you add it all up, it starts to look more like a hot bath every day instead of a hot bath once a year.

    Each individual load is small, but they add up. During the rolling blackouts in CA, I cut my energy use by 30-40% by eliminating all the leaks and shutting off the computers at night.

  4. mdhatter says:

    100 million baths add up.

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