New ‘vampire power’ research from Savenia Labs helps consumers save energy and money.

New research shows that the most energy hungry microwaves on the market today cost as much as $30 to run when not in use – in large part due to the clock.  These surprising early results were found after testing the top 20 microwave ovens sold in the United States at Savenia Labs, a University of MD Clark School of Engineering partner company in Bethesda, MD. ‘Vampire power’ also known as standby power was shown to consume more than 1/5th of a microwave’s total energy consumption over its lifetime.

When added to other appliances and electronics in your house, vampire power costs can add up to almost $200 per year for Maryland residents.

Savenia Labs recommends users choose a more efficient unit when possible and will be releasing energy ratings in Fall 2011 to help individuals and businesses make informed shopping decisions.  For those who don’t need a new unit now, they offer this advice:

  • Unplug your microwave and when you plug it back in, don’t set the clock.  Testing shows this can cut vampire power use by 50% in some units.
  • Unplug your small appliances when you go on vacation, or when not in use.
  • Use a smart strip to make it easy to power off your small appliances and home electronics when not in use.
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