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Community Member
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Environmental Protection Agency


Every workday morning when I come into my office, I've got my routine down. I lay down my bag, have a seat on my chair, then I FLIP THAT SWITCH ON MY POWER STRIP! When I leave in the evening, the routine is quite similar. I power off my computer, pick up my bag, then I FLIP THAT SWITCH ON MY POWER STRIP! In order to facilitate my flipping of the switch, I have even arranged so that my power strip is more easilly accesible on top of my desk. The idea is quite simple. Electronics that remained plugged in (even after they've been powered off) will continue to suck up some amount of electricity (often referred to as "vampire energy"). In order to prevent my computer (and other devices plugged into my power strip) from sucking up this vampire energy, I have begun to FLIP THAT SWITCH ON THE POWER STRIP. After seeing the announcement for this SAVE Challenge, I thought to myself, what if every federal employee got into the same routine of FLIPPING THAT SWITCH ON THEIR POWER STRIP? I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and estimated that the annual savings from Desktop Coputers alone would be over $3 MILLION. My assumptions: 1) $0.0943/KWh (2009 average cost of electricity in the US); 2) 2.5 Million Desktop Computers (one per federal employee according to 2009 statistics); 3) 6656 hours/year of non-worked hours (assuming 40 hour work week); 4) Powered off Desktop Computers consume 2 Watts of power in the OFF position; 5) all federal employees turn off their desktop computers before leaving work; and 6) all federal employees either have or have access to a power strip with a flip switch that turns it on and off. I realize that some of my assumptions are perhaps conservative, however I also realize that some are definitely under cutting it. Over $3 MILLION. Just by getting in the habbit of flipping a switch! Takes 5 seconds out of your day!! FLIP THAT SWITCH ON YOUR POWER STRIP!!!



Idea No. 2961