Via Law.com Legal Technology, an article titled Green Gadgets to Exorcise Power Phantoms, the author Joseph Howie writes about the phantom power usage, which he describes as power being used/drawn even when devices are supposedly off. He mentions few examples of energy waste (listed bellow). He continues saying that the first step to energy savings is to be able to measure how much energy is being consumed; therefore he lists few tools/gadgets that can help you measure, calculate and project power usage.
There are 168 hours in a week, but most devices are used no more than 50 hours, so it's easy to see how a significant percentage of a law firm's electrical usage can be wasted by having devices drawing power all the time.
Instances when power is used without knowing:
- computers can be configured to blank their screens when they're not being used, but the computer can still draw substantial power;
- printers and copiers can take several watts of power just to be ready to print;
- servers can draw a substantial amount of energy even when users are not accessing them. In fact, the cost of running a server can be a significant percentage of its original cost. Older servers may be very inefficient, costing hundreds of dollars a year to operate;
- cell phone chargers can draw power even when the phone isn't connected, or when it is connected but fully charged;
- coffee makers that can make coffee in an instant may do so by always keeping the water warm and ready to brew.
Tools/Gadgets (read the full article for descriptions):
Kill A Watt
The Energy Detective
Smart Strip Power Strip
A large office might find it relatively easy to cut a kilowatt per hour for the entire year, resulting in saving almost a thousand dollars of electricity, four and a half tons of coal and about 10 tons of CO²!