Vampire Energy Slayers

In the Fall 2018 semester, the Office of Sustainability launched the Vampire Energy Slayers program which reached 250 employees in seven campus buildings to raise awareness about vampire energy. Vampire energy is any wasted energy consumed when electronics are left plugged in and are not in use. Volunteers went on the hunt to locate and slay the vampire energy prowling in electronics and appliances used infrequently throughout the day. It often disguises itself in phone chargers, shredders, and coffee makers, among other electronics.

After identifying areas in which vampire energy was lurking, volunteers offered candy and held discussions with faculty and staff about possible culprits in their individual offices. Once an energy vampire was identified, a ticket was placed on the appliance, providing tips on how to neutralize it. The simplest way to prevent vampire energy is to unplug electronics after use or switch off the power strip they are connected to. While the primary focus of the program was to cut down the University’s energy consumption, it was also to offer practices that extend beyond the workplace, as recognized by Elaine Atencio, Special Assistant to President Harris, who stated “[We] found the tip sheet/instructions to be very helpful not only here at work, but also in our own homes.”

Based on the data collected from the seven buildings audited on campus, the Office of Sustainability identified a total of 455 instances of vampire energy. That’s 455 electronic devices sucking energy while not in use! The evaluation system was divided into five categories: “excellent” equaling zero instances of vampire energy, “good” equaling 1-2 instances, “moderate” 3-5, “bad” 6-10, and “really bad” 11+. Out of the offices audited, 14% were rated as “excellent,” 63% rated “good”, 18% rated “moderate,” 4% rated “bad” and 1% rated “really bad.” The instances of vampire energy across buildings was also compared (Figure 1). Although the data does not represent the occurrences of vampire energy in the context of the respective size of each building, the data collected can still be used as a baseline of comparison for future audits.

The Office of Sustainability intends to use the data collected during the Vampire Energy Program to increase awareness on campus about this issue and to track the number of vampire energy instances over time. It is important to reiterate that 63% of offices audited only had 1-2 instances of vampire energy recorded, and a small percentage had more than 11 instances. However, through this program and education about vampire energy usage, the hope is to see the percentage of offices with zero instances of vampire energy usage continually increase!

Figure 1: Graph of Vampire Energy per Building

If your office was not reached by the program, and you are interested in an audit, contact to set up a meeting with a vampire energy slayer.


Office of Sustainability
(619) 260-7530

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