Department of Defense

10-15% of Power Wasted on Idle Equipment

How would you like to save billions of dollars with one flick of your finger?


There are many pieces of government owned equipment that continue to draw power even though there is no use for them during off-duty hours. According to ( these “power vampires” account for 10-15% of commercial power use. Monitors for example, even while off, if they are plugged in, draw roughly 97 KwH per year, a laser printer uses 340 KwH annually even while in standby mode, a microwave consumes 420 KwH annually and an office water cooler consumes about 800 KwH annually. Any piece of equipment that has a light, a display, or continues to run when plugged in is wasting power and by extension, taxpayer dollars. (It is acknowledged that many government computers must remain on during off-duty hours to receive security patches and other updates; however their peripherals do not need to be)


The technology currently exists to install devices onto all outlets into which non-essential peripherals and devises are plugged in, that can be turned off from a central “master switch”. During off-duty hours this master switch could be turned to off thereby stopping these devices from drawing power even though they are in standby mode.


The power expended through idle time of equipment is a wasted resource that could be put to much better use. Even a 10% reduction in power usage would represent billions of dollars saved per year not to mention the obvious positive environmental impact. This is an extremely easy way to conserve energy with a very low initial investment by the government.



3 votes
Idea No. 17371