Experts: Energy vampires a growing threat

Credit: KING

The International Energy Agency predicts the world's computer and consumer electronics use will double by the year 2022.

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by By GARY CHITTIM, KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on May 16, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:22 PM

SEATTLE - Experts say that while you sleep, so-called energy vampires are sucking up your power supply.

Vampires sucking your power?

An international study group says the power draw from our modern, handy gadgets may not seem like much, but when added up, it creates a huge vacuum capable of undermining our investments in energy security and climate change.

Their report says small electrical devices like computers and televisions or even the kids' video games are now 50 percent of the average household consumption. That puts it right up there with water heaters and refrigerators.

"And people just keep buying more and more, and it's good to think about the energy consumption impact of those," said Tom Watson, King Co. EcoConsumer.

The projections are astounding.

The International Energy Agency predicts the world's computer and consumer electronics use will double by the year 2022 and just eight years later in 2030, it will triple.

The group expects personal computer use to exceed 1 billion users in the next seven months.

It says television use will exceed 2 billion during the same time. And the biggest growth so far will come in mobile phone use - the study predicts 3.5 billion users by next year.

Electronics makers who dumped incompatible products on the market are now trying to streamline - creating one, universal re-charging adapter. New power strips allow you to power down re-charging gadgets like phones and iPODs while keeping the current flowing to those that need it.

Technology like that will help, but experts warn that only personal responsibility for our personal electronics will keep energy use from spinning out of control.

The report suggests by choosing the most energy-efficient products and re-charging methods, the world can cut consumption by half.

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