Vampire Power


We should all be aware of our power consumption, not only from a personal financial perspective, but also as a responsibility to the planet. As the strap line of a well known supermarket says, ‘every little helps’, and when it comes to a 40 million people switching off their televisions at night, rather than putting them on standby, that can make a huge difference.

Power and financial cost

Have a play with this tool to ascertain how much energy you are using with devices and how much money (all be it in dollars) they might be costing you every year.

Vampire Power, Standby Power, Phantom Power

The above are all names for the power that our devices use when you are not using them. (It’s not always bad as some devices require some power going to them to retain information.)   In America this costs 19 billion dollars a year.

Mobile Phones

There are somewhere in the region of 40 to 60 million mobile phones in the UK. How many of their chargers are on right this minute, with no phone attached to them? Is yours on at home right now?

According to a number of studies, 50% of the power that our phone chargers use happens when we are not actually charging our phones – so switch them off. There’s also plenty of evidence to show that third party chargers can use even more energy this way, and can also be very dangerous when left on, or even being switched on at all. Be very careful, and avoid 3rd party charges if you can. Feel free to Google ‘Third party phone charger danger’ if you wish to inform yourself.

Our Planet

Well… I don’t think we need to go into that so much here. There’s a seemingly endless amount of writing on this subject freely available to everyone. Many articles report that somewhere in the region of 97% of all scientists believe it’s happening, and that it’s a man and woman made problem. I threw a stick and found this article, but you can find your own.

As consumers the cumulative use of the population is the issue. It’s easy to find statistics that confirm that it costs less than a pound to charge your phone in a year – but what price is that if there was a billion phones sold in 2016? Of course mobile phones are not the only culprits, in fact they take up a minuscule part of the over all need for power, and perhaps that’s the scariest thing about it.


Did you know that our University was awarded £1 million from the HEFCE Revolving Green Fund for the Combined Heat and Power plant on the Cambridge Campus Sustainability at Anglia Ruskin University. Find something on our site related to this area that you didn’t know, or think should be brought to our attention,  and share it in the comments.


Find me some recent statistics about UK power use, and post in the comments.


Find an up-to-date article about alternative forms of energy that you found interesting.















110 thoughts on “Vampire Power

  1. Philip Howlett March 1, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I love the AeroLeaf technology of New Wind (see, and I think that a couple of WindTrees would look great on the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses!


  2. Hannah Stageman March 10, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    “Our MSc Sustainability, in partnership with Change Agents UK and the Eden Project, was shortlisted by an EAUC Green Gown award in 2013 and has been described by our external examiner as ‘ground-breaking’.”

    I didn’t know this! How fantastic. Also good to know that the Students Union has a Plan G.


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